Philip Dehli

Philip H. Dehli, 84, of rural Harpers Ferry died Tuesday, November 16, 2021 at his home. Funeral services were held Tuesday, November 23 at East Paint Creek Lutheran Synod Church in rural Waterville with Pastor Ken Kimball officiating and burial with military honors in the church cemetery. The service was also live streamed on Martin-Grau Funeral Home’s Facebook page.

Philip Herman Dehli was born March 24, 1937 in Sioux Falls, SD, the son of Palmer and Palma (Unseth) Dehli. He was baptized and confirmed at the East Paint Creek Lutheran Synod Church in rural Waterville where he was a lifelong member; Phil attended country school and graduated from Waterville in 1956. Phil served in the U.S. Army, stationed at Ft. Leonard Wood, MO and Ft. Collins, CO; he was granted an early discharge as his father had health problems and needed help running the farm.

Phil loved farming, from planting to harvesting, operating equipment, raising cattle and hogs, helping neighbors, and his love of John Deere tractors. He was also probably one of just a handful of people that loved to fence. Along with farming, Phil also worked for Holland Brothers Construction and helped build the Lansing Power Plant in 1976-1977. In 1978, Phil joined Cooney Construction in Waukon, which later became Bruening Rock Products, and worked there through the summer of 2021, never fully retiring.
January 2, 1966, Phil married Helen Pearl Brooks in Lewistown, MT. Helen was from Lansing, but her family later moved to Montana. He and Helen took many trips out there to visit; a few weeks ago, Phil took his last trip to Montana for a family member’s funeral, along with his son and daughter-in-law and a great-granddaughter, which made it a great and memorable time.

Philip’s faith was very important to him and he always sought out church services to attend whenever and wherever he traveled. Phil dearly enjoyed being a part of the local CEW. Phil was also active with the VFW in Harpers Ferry. He enjoyed listening to bluegrass and gospel music and loved strawberry sundaes (heavy on the strawberries, easy on ice cream).

Phil did anything to keep busy and was always the first to help, but never wanted any recognition. Phil was always up for a family gathering and loved spending time with his children and grandchildren. Phil was also an avid attendee of farm shows and would attend as many as he could during the year, as this was his vacation from the farm. He spent his entire life living on the family farm in rural Harpers Ferry.

Phil is survived by his four children: Randy (Mary) Dehli and Rob (Sheri) Dehli, both of Waukon, Renee (Andrew) Henke of Grand Blanc, MI and Ron (Becky) Dehli of Holmen, WI; his grandchildren: Ben Dehli, Becky (Wyatt) Schott, Amanda (Mike) Sparks, Emy (Jordan Hogan) Dehli, Michaela, Ella and Allie Dehli, Andrew Strom, Ashley Kromke, Adalyn, Rylan and Camdin Dehli, and Nicholas and Victoria Henke; and four great-grandchildren: Taylin Dehli, Tremett and Tresley Sparks, and Dawson Schott.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his dear wife, Helen, who died in 2011.

Honorary casketbearers were Phil’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Jim Gruber Sr., Roland Reppe, and the Waukon Bruening Rock Products workers. Casketbearers were Herb and Mark Dehli, Roger Freightliner, Butch Fossum, Rich Johnson, Jerry Mathis, Kent McCormick and Darrell Troendle.