I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in truth- 3 John 1:4
Philip Gene Stidham, Sr. was born in Fallis, Oklahoma, on January 21, 1942, to Curtis Alvin Stidham and Kathleen Morris. He grew up in Alabama, raised by a very abusive father, with his brothers Charlie and George. He was blessed to have many aunts and uncles and his older half-sister Lilly to be near him in Alabama.
He is preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Lilly; and his brothers, Charlie and George. He is survived by his children, Debra Stidham, Oklahoma City, James Stidham, Heber Springs, Arkansas, Philip and Jerri Stidham, Norman, Chris and Mary Long, Oklahoma City, Robert and Frances Stidham, Mustang, Rusty and Jill Eakle, Quinton, and Sean and Gerardi Stidham, Wilberton. Twenty-one grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, and his sister Kathy Tapps, Arkansas and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Phil served in the Air Force from July 20, 1959, to November 8, 1966. He received a Good Conduct Medal during his time between July 1959 and July 1962. He served as an airplane repairman and in the printing press. He was honorably discharged November 8, 1966.
He was one of the best mechanics. He was employed as a mechanic at many different garages, and at one point he had his own garage called Phil and Son. You could call my dad and describe the problem with your car or simply let him listen to your engine running over the phone and he could tell you exactly what was wrong with it.
He cussed like a sailor and spoke his mind to the point he was dubbed “grumpy”. We all knew he was grumpy, but we took it with a grain of salt, it was just dad.
He ran wild and free when he was younger, moving from state to state looking for the best work. This also led to many children. He never spanked his children. He would give advice in the most gentle way, or simply intervene. He never wanted to be “his” dad. And he wasn’t. As he grew older, He began to feel sorrow that he was not with all of his kids during their younger years. He made amends the best that he could. He loved his children and drove to see them as often as he could. Sometimes, He would show up unannounced. He would just show up at your front door. He wanted to be around his grandchildren. He made sure to let them know he loved them the best way he knew how.
He would give his shirt off of his back if his kids needed it. You see, his giving attitude was a great attribute passed to each of his kids. He didn’t know how to show love although he always hugged us, but he was always there. No matter what if we needed him, he showed up.
You can tell we are his kids by our big brown eyes. Every time I look into my sibling’s eyes, I see dad. I spent a lot of time with dad these past two and half years. Sometimes he drove me crazy, sometimes we just sat quietly and watched car shows. But he always asked about the other kids, or he’d tell me what they were doing. He was always bragging about his kids.
Dad loved old cars and fishing, but he loved his kids more.
We talked in depth over the past few months about his salvation. He was saved in Alabama as a child and he said he never forgot his savior. He spoke with a Baptist preacher several times in the VA center. He told me he was ok with dying and he was ready.
For this I rejoice. Because although we bury his body today, he is not in it. One day when I reach heaven, my daddy will be waiting and he will welcome me home.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Philip Stidham Sr, please visit our floral store.