Fred Albert Philpot, also called Fred A., Fred Jr., Freddie Albert, Fred Albert, Buddy, Bud, Uncle Bud or Mr. Philpot, passed away on August 5, 2018 in Hobbs. He went a lot of places and did a lot of things, and he learned a good bit. The Lord was leading and empowering – and chastising when necessary – and Fred’s experiences moved him toward and into a fuller realization of the agape love of God. This made the journey very pleasurable and worthwhile.
Things seemed to go wrong
Yesterday, and the
Day before, and so
On back. But really,
They didn’t. Providence.
All that happens and
All that ever can
Is because of it.
All a gift from my
Who loves me and sends
Me only good things.
When physical death
Finally comes, it
Will be because my
Work on earth is done
And God is calling
This wanderer home.
Fred wrote this obituary for himself many years ago, and if you knew Fred, you know that it perfectly captures the essence of who he is. This wanderer is now home with his Heavenly Father, and for that we rejoice, although we will all miss him terribly.
Fred was born on June 13, 1930 in Mena, Arkansas to Fred Philpot, Sr. and Oma Vandiver Philpot, the second of five children. Fred had a distinguished academic career, culminating with a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Arkansas, and a master’s degree in psychology and personnel services from Eastern New Mexico University.
His academic career at the University of Arkansas was interrupted when his Arkansas National Guard unit was mobilized for service in the Korean War. While in Korea, Fred served as a fire control officer with Battery “A”, 937th Field Artillery Battalion. His first action was in the pivotal invasion at Inchon, for which he was awarded the Bronze Star. He served with distinction until the end of the war and returned home, ultimately spending several years in California.
In December, 1965, he moved to Hobbs, New Mexico to teach school, which he did for the next 22 years. After retirement, he remained in Hobbs and was involved in a great many community service activities, including serving for sixteen years in prison ministry at the Lea County Correctional Facility. He may be best known by most for his numerous letters to the editor of the Hobbs News-Sun, which covered a variety of subjects in his own uniquely gentle, yet pointed style. He also used his tremendous writing talents to author a book on his experiences in Korea, that is an absolute treasure to his family and friends.
Most of all, Fred was a kind, gentle and loving man of God. He loved his family, his friends and his community with all his heart, and lived out his God-given calling to be salt and light to the world to the very best of his ability. He will be missed, but we rejoice in the knowledge that he is now free of pain, and in the arms of his loving Savior.
Fred is survived by his brother, John Philpot of Little Rock, Arkansas, his sister-in-law, Betty Philpot of Mena, Arkansas; his brother-in-law Jim Witherspoon of Hobbs, New Mexico; his nephews Buddy Dean Philpot and his wife Jamie of Springdale, Arkansas, and John Witherspoon and his wife Sharon of Hobbs, New Mexico; his nieces Emily Ritter and her husband Wes of Katy, Texas, and Jane Davis and her husband Ken of Weatherford, Texas and the following great-nieces and nephews: Hannah Philpot, Sarah Chancellor and her husband Logue, Matthew Philpot, Zachary Ritter, Olivia Ritter, Abby Foster and her husband Clinton, Isaiah Witherspoon, and Malachi Witherspoon. He was preceded in death by his mother and father, his sisters Judy Witherspoon and Mary Ellen Roberts, his brother Bill Philpot, his nephew Greig Roberts and his great-niece Oakleigh Roberts.
Funeral services will be held 11:00AM Thursday August 9, 2018 at Griffin Funeral Home with Elder Ken Davis officiating. Burial will follow in Prairie Haven Memorial Park. The family will greet friends from 2:00-4:00 PM on Wednesday at Griffin Funeral home.
Mr. Fred Philpot was an almost daily visitor to the Hobbs Public Library. The library staff will miss him dearly.
Sandy FarrellHobbs, NM