The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

November 19, 2012

Gary H. Philpot

The Joplin Globe


Gary Holm Philpot, age 75, died on Nov. 17, 2012, at Freeman Medical Center after suffering an acute hemorrhagic stroke earlier in the week.

Gary was born May 2, 1937, in Kearney, Neb., to Bert and LaVea Philpot. Gary was an only child, but enjoyed his childhood in Mason City, Neb., with his extended family. For college, he moved to Ames, Iowa and attended Iowa State University. There he met Keota Kay Bannister, his wife to be of 53 years. He was a letterman for ISU in track. He graduated from ISU in 1958, with a B.S. of Geology and minor in Physics and Algebra. After an honorable discharge from the Army he began work for Geophysical Services Incorporated throughout the western United States. After joining Hercules Inc. in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he worked on the Minute Man Missile, Gary and his young family were transferred to Carthage, Mo. In 1966.

Gary fell in love with southwest Missouri and always felt it was the most beautiful area in the United States. Faced with an offer for promotion and transfer, Gary saw what was more important to him and chose to remain here and raise his family. With the help of Mel Brown, Gary started Sherwood Forest Homes in 1971 and Gary continued to run the company until his passing.

He was passionate about the community and was President of Webb City Youth Baseball and was instrumental in the move to its current location at King Jack Park. He was an avid Webb City sports fan and could often be found cheering on the Cardinals. He strongly advocated for his passions and served on the board and past President of the Missouri Manufactured Housing Association (MMHA). He received the MMHA Man of the Year award three times and received the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994. Gary was more recently involved with the State Home Builders Association and past President of the Home Builders Association of Southwest Missouri (HBASWMO). He was instrumental in helping get legislation passed that protected the rights of builders all over the state.

Gary had fun in work and life. He was a driving force in the HBASWMOs building of a Habitat for Humanity house in Joplin, the Crowder College Solar Decathlon House for competition in Washington D.C., and he was involved in the design and construction of the Ronald McDonald House in Joplin. He was active in the cleanup for Joplin after the Tornado and one of the lead builders in building a home for the Extreme Makeover Home Edition, Seven Homes in Seven Days.

He remained active and enjoyed time with the family at the lake water skiing, snow skiing and playing Annie Annie Over. He has lifelong friends and enjoyed fishing and hunting. Despite his long hours of work, he also enjoyed his beef cattle and could be found on a cold night helping his cattle during calving season. He was known for his free spirit, the twinkle in his eye and the glint of trouble in his smile.

Gary was preceded in death by his granddaughter, Riley Philpot, of N.C.

Survivors include his wife, Kay Philpot, of Webb City; Craig Philpot, of Webb City and his wife, Carrie and their children Chase, Caitlyn and Chesnie; Tanya Stewart, of Houston, Texas and her husband, Steven and their children Jake and Kylie; Tony Philpot, of Webb City and his wife, Christy and their children Sydney, Ashley and Hally; Kirk Philpot, of Greenville, N.C.  and his wife, Kelly and their children Jon Paul, Ella and Ashlyn. Gary has one great- grand child, Braiden Stewart of Houston, Texas.

The family will receive visitors at the Simpson Funeral Home of Webb City Monday 6 to 8 p.m. Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday, at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church of Webb City.

Funeral arrangements under the direction of the Simpson Funeral Home of Webb City.

In lieu of flowers, the family request donations to Rileys Army. Rileys Army was founded and inspired by his granddaughter Riley to help children and their families that are affected by cancer.  Donations can be made online at, or mailed to Rileys Army, PO Box 720 Winterville N.C. 28590.