Phillip Loyd Denney was born to Everett and Mary Denney at 3:43 a.m. on Tuesday, the 9th of May 1944. Phil, beloved brother, uncle, cousin, friend, and neighbor passed away February 28, 2021.
The life Phil lived will forever be more than words can describe; the legacy he leaves will last for generations to come. He will be missed by so many of the Kearney community he supported and lived a lifetime amongst.
Phil graduated Kearney High School in 1962 and was a member of the 1960-1961 Championship basketball team, inducted into the inaugural Kearney Athletic Hall of Fame in 2017. Phil was a lover of sports including all things, golf, fishing, Mizzou and Bulldogs athletics, Chiefs football and Royals baseball.
After graduating high school, Phil continued his love for education at University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg. Shortly after graduation, Phil was drafted into the United States Army during the Vietnam War from 1969-1970. Specialist Phillip L Denney was awarded several medals, including two Bronze Stars, for his meritorious achievements during his deployment. After the war, he returned to school and completed his master’s degree at the University of Missouri.
Mr. Denney, or Mr. D to many former students, taught at several schools over his career including Smithville, Sedalia, Salem, Drexel, Osage, Eldon, and Climax Springs where he retired as principal. Unable to stay retired long, he returned to the education system as supervisor for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, where he achieved many certificates and awards that signified his love for students and their lifelong learning.
Phil was an avid supporter of the Boy Scouts of America as an Eagle Scout himself. Known as Little Bounding Gray Squirrel, he served as Sagamore on the Mic-O-Say Tribal and She-She-Be Councils, carrying out and endorsing the policies of the Council of Chieftans. Phil spent many summer sessions at H. Roe Bartle Scout Reservation in Osceola, Missouri as a staffer and made lifelong friendships through his experiences.
Phil enjoyed collecting all things Standard Oil, commemorating the family business, Riley & Denney Service, and was a charter member of the Kearney Historic Museum.
The younger generations will forever remember watching Jesse James parades at the corner of N Prospect and E Washington and parents will always remember the famous Bloody Marys on the deck. Students will always cherish his passion for teaching and family and friends will never forget his constant wit, words of wisdom, and all the good times had at Camp Phil at the Lake of the Ozarks.
The third of five kids to the late Everett and the late Mary Denney, Phil leaves behind sister, Jane (Dennis) Twiss; brothers, John (Pam), Bill (the late Mertie), and Mark; several cousins, nieces and nephews, former students, friends, and neighbors that will forever miss him.
Visitation will be held from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Monday, March 8, 2021 at Fry-Bross Spidle Funeral Home in Kearney, Missouri. Military Honors will be performed at 6:00 p.m.
At a later date, family will hold a Celebration of Phil’s Life, open to all, when the weather warms up and sunshine can be enjoyed with a bottle or two of Jameson. To honor Phil’s memory, family asks you to make a contribution to a school district of your choice, as anyone who knew Phil well, knew what education meant to him.
“A hundred years from now, it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.”
Our Sincere Condolences
I am so very sorry for your loss. I pray the strength and love of your family will be your support and solace in the days, weeks and months ahead.
Kathye and Paul Smith
Rest In Peace. You were my favorite BIL. You were so cool to me. Still have your card from Vietnam welcoming me to fam. Then you came home and had a Corvette! Your life was full. Always remembered.
The corner of Prospect and Washington will never be the same. I spent many a summers night sitting on Phil’s front porch discussing life and solving the worlds problems. Rest In Peace Phil, you will be missed.
So so sorry to hear of Phil’s passing. He will be missed by all who knew him. We were classmates all 12 years.
I was so saddened to hear of Phil’s passing. He was one of a kind. Worked with Phil at the Department of Education during his time there. My deepest sympathies. Rest in peace Phil. You will be missed!
I am so sorry to hear of the passing of Phil. I grew up with the Denney family and have many fond memories of the time we spent together. The fondest of memories are the vacations our families went on together to Minnesota. Fun times.
Phil was a great guy and has left an outstanding legacy. Rest In Peace Phil.
Oh how we will all miss you so much Phil ….. you were a one of a kind and I’m so glad I was lucky enough to know you … I almost forgot at times that there were people like you in this world … my friend, my hero, my principle, my mentor and most importantly, my dad … I love you and will miss you so, so much. Please rest in peace, Phil. I love you.