Cover photo for Philip Charles Cadwell's Obituary
Philip Charles Cadwell Profile Photo
1938 Philip 2021

Philip Charles Cadwell

May 7, 1938 — May 19, 2021

Philip Charles Cadwell entered this world on May 7, 1938 in Miles City, Montana, the youngest of 8 children and the son of Ernest and Reathel Cadwell.

Philip grew up on the Cadwell Family Homestead outside of Ridge, Montana. Always one for doing things his own way and seeking adventure; he learned to hunt, fly airplanes and ride motorcycles at a young age. Through his life Philip worked in an auto parts store, in the Hauber Mine as a Truck Driver, a small business owner, a Crop Duster and Security Guard. He served on the board of the Montana Aviation Trades Association and National Agricultural Aviation Association.

Philip happened upon the most beautiful part of his life, Frances Hawley, while working in Belle Fourche, South Dakota. The two enjoyed nearly 40 years of marriage; filled with love, challenge and adventure! Their love was grown with 2 children, Neil and Gwen. As a young family, they enjoyed hunting, riding motorcycles, and being in the mountains together. They owned Valley Flying Service, and worked as a family, Crop Dusting in the Gallatin Valley, Mississippi and even Nicaragua. Ultimately their family was complete with 5 Granddaughters; Kisti, Nikki, Brynn, Kira and Shayna. As Grandparents they would travel the country and world to be with their grandchildren and make a memory! Their adventures included going to see National Parks, going to get a treat after school, going to the movie theater, traveling in Germany, or simply enjoying a big bowl of ice cream.

Phil was a man of Faith, reading his Bible daily and actively attending and giving to the churches of Christ. Phil had a great devotion to his country. He had an incredibly strong heart and was a survivor to the very end! He evaded death many times-surviving a fiery airplane crash and later a life-threatening motorcycle accident that would claim his left arm. He was also a survivor of Hurricane Katrina. He was a strong, tenacious and resilient man to the end. As Gwen would say in his last hours, “They don’t make ‘em like this anymore!”

Philip Charles Cadwell left this world, surrounded by his children and granddaughters, who lovingly journeyed with him to the veil of Earth and Heaven where, we have faith that, he was escorted to the Throne of God by his loving wife Frances. We take comfort that he heard, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little. I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your Master.”

The Legends of Grampa Phil will live on through his children, granddaughters and great-grandchildren; from the stories of him trapping skunks under the old school house, shooting a whitetail buck with his .22 on his way home from school, hunting coyotes out of an airplane, to shooting an iguana out of a tree, with his .38 special, on a dare from a Nicaraguan man. Please celebrate his memory by sharing a bowl of ice cream with someone you love, and enjoy every last bite!

Phil was preceded in death by his wife Frances Cadwell, as well as his parents, siblings and numerous other family members. His stories will be shared by those who remain: his children, Neil (& Lori) Cadwell (Billings, MT) and Gwen Kahl (Pascagoula, MS); Grandchildren, Kisti (& John) Felps (Colorado Springs), Nikki Williams (Pascagoula, MS), Brynn (&Derek) Turcotte (Belgrade, MT), Kira (&Sean) Gifford (Three Forks, MT) and Shayna Cadwell (Pascagoula, MS); 13 Great-Grandchildren, Anne Marie, Taylor, Maren, Grant, Turner, Brandt, Wyatt, Aislynn, Silas, Teegan, Naomi, Lorin and Petrea Jane; sisters Carol Mattern and Grace McKnight, dear friends Don and Marlene Kelly, as well as a host of nieces and nephews.

We are so grateful to Serena and Sabrina and the staff and residents at TLC in Billings, for their compassionate care and friendship over the past year and a half.

There will be a celebration of Phil’s life on June 2nd at 5:30pm at the Three Forks church of Christ. Phil’s ashes will be spread over the “Old Homeplace” later this summer, from an airplane that he previously owned; 2230Y will be piloted by his son Neil Cadwell for Phil’s final flight.

Memorial Contributions can be made to Angel Flight West:

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Philip Charles Cadwell, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Starts at 5:30 pm (Mountain time)

Three Forks Church of Christ

2 Milwaukee Street, Three Forks, MT 59752

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