This obituary originally appeared on Memorial Funeral Home.

Kenneth Phillips, 83, of Portsmouth, RI, passed away on Monday, July 6, 2020. Ken was born in Cincinnati, Ohio to the late Harry Phillips Sr. and Mildred Phillips. Ken always had a soft spot for Ohio. He enjoyed bringing his grandchildren with him occasionally showing them his past stomping grounds. Ken was honored to join and serve in the United States Army upon finishing high school. He was a proud Korean War Veteran and had many stories to share of his experiences. After his time in the Army, Ken pursued an education. He received his bachelors degree from Ohio Northern University and later his masters degree in electrical engineering. Ken eventually moved to Aquidneck Island, Rhode Island and began a career in contracting. He designed, built and lived in many houses on the island. Ken was an extremely hard worker, but when he was not working, he was an avid skier. Many ski trips were enjoyed by Ken with friends as well as teaching his grandchildren how to ski. Black diamonds were one of the challenges in life that Ken genuinely enjoyed. He also found much enjoyment in traveling, especially to Russia, and anywhere it was sunny and 75! Ken spoke bits and pieces of a few languages; Russian, German and Ukrainian. His pride and joy was his garden; always having a crop of tomatoes, herbs, blackberries, cucumbers and much more. If anything were broken, it could usually be restored in Ken’s workshop. Very rarely were things too broken to be fixed. He taught his family about sincere work ethic, the importance of an education and the meaningfulness of showing up and being present. Ken could be found all around town whether in hardware stores, at his grandchildren’s school or sport functions or having coffee with friends at local diners. He will forever be remembered by his intelligence, vigor for life, and his laugh. Ken is survived by his daughter LeeAnn Leavitt and grandchildren Kayla Andreen and husband Zachary Andreen; Derek Leavitt and Melissa Leavitt as well as great grandchildren Grace, Josiah and Titus. He was also loved by his companion of 9 years Yvonne Monnett. Ken will be missed by his brother Harry and wife Ruth as well as numerous cousins and friends.

Visitation will be held on Friday, July 17, from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM at Connors Funeral Home, 55 West Main Road, Portsmouth, RI. Please understand, due to the pandemic, facemasks are required and there will be a longer than usual wait time to pay your respects to the family.

Funeral Services will be held on Saturday, July 18, at Graceway Community Church, 215 Forrest Avenue, Middletown, RI, at 10AM.

Burial will be private at Rhode Island Veterans Cemetery.

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