Philip Jesus Gomez
Philip Jesus Gomez passed away on Wednesday, May 23, 2018 in Billings. Philip was born in Gallup, New Mexico on August 6, 1924. Shortly thereafter, his family moved to Montana. In May 1944, he was inducted into the United States Army. During World War II, he served in Central Europe and the Rhineland from March 1945 to June 1946 with Company B, 334th Engineer Special Service Regiment as a Rigger (MOS 189). He was awarded the Good Conduct Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Theater Service Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal. He spoke very little about his wartime experiences but he shared that he helped build bridges across rivers in the Rhineland for allied forces to cross into Germany. Philip was honorably discharged in June 1946.
He returned to Montana and found a job working on the construction of the Conoco refinery in Billings. After the refinery was built in 1949, he was hired to work at the refinery as a pipe fitter and insulator. He married Carmen Caudillo in 1950 and they raised seven children. Carmen and Philip enjoyed dancing and polka music when they were younger. Philip taught himself to play the accordion. He was an active outdoors gardener and a hard worker.
His example of hard work and persistence encouraged all seven of his children to complete college degrees and to become professionals in legislative research, aerospace, pulp and paperboard industry, law enforcement, broadcasting, business, and the medical field. Three of his sons are Air Force or Marine Corps veterans who served during the Vietnam War.
Philip retired from the Conoco refinery in 1984. He and Carmen were active members of the Guadalupe Parish until Carmen passed away in 2005. He was able to live by himself in his own home until January when he moved into an assisted living facility. Philip enjoyed being taken out to lunch; his favorite meal typically included shrimp.
He was preceded in death by his siblings Narciso, Alfonsa, Ambrose, Sophia and Maria; his mother, Margarita; his loving wife Carmen; and his son Thomas (June). His survivors include his children Narciso Gomez (Carla), Michael Gomez (Patti), Nicholas Gomez (Judy), Patricia Waller (Tom), Rachel Gomez (Harald), Samuel Gomez (Keri); twelve grandchildren; and fourteen great-grandchildren.
Philip is now in eternal rest. His viewing and memorial service will be at Smith's Funeral Chapel on Friday, June 8 at 6 PM. Mass of Last Rites will be at Mary Queen of Peace church on Saturday, June 9 at 10 AM. Interment will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery.