Vicki Lee McPhail was born on January 10, 1952 in Denver, CO. She was Wife to Tony. Mom to C.J., Amber and Dusty (and a second Mom to dozens of their friends). Sister to Gail, Chuck, Kathy, Mike and Cindy. Daughter to Chuck and Shirley. Grandma to Jordan, Tyler, Sawyer, Thatcher, Crew, Charlie, Landon and Liam. Mother in law to Lindsay, Kate and Chad. Friend to all. Vicki lived a truly incredible life. Passionate, Loyal, Meticulous, Famously Stubborn, Fierce, Loving, and Fun are just a few words to describe her. She went to be with Jesus on April 21st after a 20 year battle with cancer. Her passing was peaceful, surrounded by many friends and family just as she wanted. Cancer didn’t win.
In 1972 she met Tony McPhail in Rangely, CO where she was studying Dental Hygiene at Colorado Northwestern Community College. Tony had recently returned from Vietnam. The city girl met a small town boy, and when he kept sneaking into her dorm room, she knew he was the one. Vicki passed away just 20 days before their 50th wedding anniversary. Tony was her best friend and care giver. Stories of golfing, softball, Christmas trees, snowmobiling, camping, hunting, cheering their kids and grandkids, practical jokes, great heartache and success are too numerous to share. They built a fantastic life together.
Vicki often joked that her graduating class was bigger than the entire town of Rangely. Little did she know that Rangely would become her home for over 40 years. In Rangely her kids were born and graduated, she worked as a dental hygienist, worked for the post office for 13 years and later as a home health aide. She volunteered, donated, served and supported anything and everything she could, especially if it in anyway helped her three kids. C.J., Amber and Dusty were her true pride and joy.
When Vicki was just a teenager she began playing semi professional golf. She won and played in tournaments throughout the west, even gaining a financial sponsor. She gave thousands of lessons, created lifelong friendships and even helped with the formation of Cedar Ridges Golf Course in Rangely. It was one of her favorite places to be.
In 2003 cancer became an unwelcome part of her story. She miraculously and heroically beat three different forms of cancer over the next 20 years. Her story was so incredible that her medical team consistently didn’t know what to do. They simply hadn’t experienced someone going through so much and still keep going. Vicki never stopped believing that God had a plan and as long as she was alive, she had a purpose. She wasn’t afraid to die. As a result, her entire medical team became family. Never was this on display more than in her final days with dozens of physicians, nurses, medical staff and friends coming to see her. What an accomplishment. What an honor. What a life!
If you knew Vicki, you knew she didn’t lack confidence. She wasn’t afraid to risk, pivot in life and didn’t allow the opinions of others to slow her down. Two of her favorite pieces of advice; “Caring too much about what others think of you is a cancer of its own” and “the greatest hardships provide the greatest opportunities.” Vicki is and will always be deeply loved and desperately missed. The courageous life she lived will serve as a beacon for generations to come.
You are invited to a celebration of her life on Saturday June 17th at 10am at Downtown Vinyard Church (402 Grand Av, Grand Junction, CO 81501).