Phillip Joseph Klebba, 71, passed into eternal life on Wednesday, September 14, 2022, surrounded by loved ones at his home in Sheridan, Wyoming. His life was abruptly cut short by an aggressive brain cancer.
Phil was born on February 17, 1951, to Joseph Henry Klebba and Anne Katharine Klebba in the old hospital across the railroad tracks in Sheridan. The third of seven children, he grew up on Slater Creek Ranch. With his mother as a teacher and siblings as classmates, Phil attended Slater Creek Rural School through 8th grade. After attending Tongue River High School, Sheridan College, and the University of Wyoming, he briefly worked in Wyoming oil fields, later returning to the family ranch. Phil was a fearless horseman, with years of his life devoted to ranch work with his brothers Karles, Steve, and Jim, (and sometimes his sisters Joanne, Mary, and Genn). To the end of his days, the ranch held a very special place in Phil’s heart.
Phil married Margaret (Haratyk) Klebba on January 6, 1990. Their love for each other was evident in their words, actions, and mutual support over 32 years of marriage. They raised three children, Susan, Phillip, and Joseph. The family packed into the car for much memorable fishing, camping, and hunting trips and other adventures. Phil delighted in hosting his extended family, reminiscing, and swapping new stories. His house was a gathering place during the holidays, especially Christmas.
Since 2003, Phil served as the maintenance supervisor at Holy Name Parish, where he was known for his incredible commitment and for being utterly dependable. He volunteered for many church events and activities and served his parish as an usher. Phil took pride in his work. He enjoyed contributing to something greater than himself and held the community near and dear to his heart. Phil was very personable, and his pleasantness and easygoing nature endeared him to many. His faith was extremely important to him, and those who knew him were forever touched by his unassuming nature and gentle light.
A renaissance man of sorts, Phil could recite ancient poems and presidential addresses. He regularly amazed his children, family, and friends with the obscure words and facts he knew. Phil’s knowledge spanned Wyoming history, astronomy, and many trades. He owned a small library of books about Wyoming and was especially well-versed in the American West era. At night, Phil cast his gaze on the heavens, stars, and planets. He knew the constellations and the stories behind them, as well as the names and histories of individual stars. Comets and eclipses were especially cherished. Phil was a lifelong tinkerer with considerable talent in electrical work, plumbing, automotive work, machinery, and carpentry. He could find a way to make just about anything work.
Phil was preceded in death by both his parents, brother-in-law Andrzej (Andrew), and Joe Kuzma, a relative and family friend. Phil is survived by his wife Margaret, daughter Susan of Denver, Colorado, son Phillip of Salt Lake City, Utah, and son Joseph of Longmont, Colorado; brothers Karles and Steve of the Sheridan area and Jim (Michelle) of Cody; sisters Joanne Westbrook of Sheridan, Mary McMains of Casper, and Genevieve Klebba (Paul) of Soldotna, Alaska; and brother-in-law Stanislaw (Stan) of Koniakow, Poland. He is also survived by nieces and a nephew, numerous cousins, and their families.
A viewing will take place at 4 pm at Holy Name Catholic Church in Sheridan on Friday, September 23, with Vigil and Rosary to follow at 6 pm. Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Saturday, September 24, at 10 am at Holy Name Catholic Church in Sheridan, with the celebrant Father. Glenn Whewell and con celebrant priests. A reception will take place in the Holy Name Parish Hall after burial in Sheridan Municipal Cemetery, Juniper Heights Section officiated by Deacon Greg Marino.
Please join us by clicking on the link below 10 minutes prior to the service and be sure to mute yourself, to view and hear the Mass Of Christian Burial.
Memorial donations to honor Phil may be made to Holy Name Catholic Church, Holy Name Catholic School, or the donor’s place of choice.
Online condolences may be written at www.kanefuneral.com. Kane Funeral Home has been entrusted with local arrangements.