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Philip 'Phil' McCollam

Feb 22, 2013 Staff

Philip "Phil" McCollam died Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, at the Help for Health Hospice Home in Riverton. He was 79 years old.

Per his request, cremation has taken place, and a celebration of life will be June 8 on the family homestead in Winner, S.D.

Philip Benjamin McCollam was born June 7, 1933, in Dixon, S.D., the son of Benjamin Crooks and Esther Anna Marguerite (Engel) McCollam.

As a young child, around the age of 5, he started to help his dad with construction work. When he became an adult, his father helped him with construction. The many houses Mr. McCollam designed and built during his lifetime were a tremendous source of pride to him and his family.

He went to Lincoln Country School and graduated from Winner High School in South Dakota.

He also attended South Dakota State University in Brookings, S.D.

Mr. McCollam was a Korean War veteran, serving for two years before meeting Roxanna Geneva Gonyo and getting married in Pierre, S.D. Together they raised two sons and three daughters.

The family lived in Brookings, S.D., and Yankton, S.D., before moving to Wyoming when Mr. McCollam started working for the U.S. Geological Survey as a hydrologist. His work took them to Casper, Lovell, Riverton, Cheyenne, Worland and Green River before returning to Riverton. After 30 years at a job he thoroughly enjoyed, he retired Dec. 7, 1989. He was fortunate enough to be able to work in the mountains and along the streams where wildlife often observed him.

He was a member of the National Honor Society, Elks for 36 years, Masons and Toastmasters.

His family said he enjoyed gardening, fishing, hunting, carpentry and many hours sharing a lifetime of experiences with his 13 grandchildren and extended family.

He is survived by his wife, Roxanna of Riverton; sons Richard McCollam and his wife Tracy of Lafayette, Calif., and Paul McCollam and his wife Vida of Idaho Falls, Idaho; daughters Susan Wylie and her husband Cal of Elkhart, Kan., Gwenith Hofeldt and her husband Todd of Millboro, S.D., Mary Erdahl and her husband Jerry of Tensleep, S.D., and Carol McCollam of Sacramento, Calif.; brothers John McCollam, Floyd McCollam and David McCollam and his wife Joyce; sisters Rosemary Hartland and her husband Bill and Virginia Huettmann and her husband Dick; grandchildren Matthew Walker, Phillip McCollam, William Wylie, John Erdahl, Scott Erdahl, Kevin Erdahl, Michael Hofeldt, Jack McCollam, Ryan McCollam, Katie Erdahl, Misti Hofeldt Novonty, Tricia Hofeldt and Katie McCollam.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Ben and Esther; brothers Steve McCollam and Delano McCollam; sister Dortha Wheeler; brother-in-law Jack Wheeler; niece Lisa Huettmann; and nephew Willie Hartland.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Davis Funeral Home of Riverton. Online condolences may be left at

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