Obituary: William Scott Phillips June 14, 1956 – Oct. 3, 2023

WILLIAM SCOTT PHILLIPS June 14, 1956 – Oct. 3, 2023

Loving husband of his MIT sweetheart, Melinda Darby Dyar of Freeport, ME. Proud Dad to Middy Davis of Eugene, OR; Chloe Jachim (Teddy Jachim) of Seattle, WA and William Geoffrey Phillips (Michelle Parent) of Portland, OR. Beloved and devoted Grandfather to Lou Davis. Much-loved Stepfather to Duncan and Lindy Crowley.

Born in Oakland, CA and raised in the San Diego area, he was the oldest son of the late William and Ellen Phillips. Scott began his education with undergraduate work at UC Berkeley in Geophysics, studied abroad at the University of Edinburgh, then went on to his Ph.D. in Geophysics at MIT. 

Scott spent his entire career as a Seismologist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. He was as proud of the many young lab scientists he mentored there as he was of his numerous highly impactful scientific publications.

Scott traveled the world and was an avid backpacker and mountain climber from childhood. He even scaled the Matterhorn and Mt. Blanc in the Alps. He enjoyed XC skiing, following his beloved Boston Red Sox, the USWNT soccer team, and all Cal Golden Bears sports. He loved to garden, play the drums, cook Indian cuisine, and eat gelato. 

Scott is survived by his wife, three children, two stepchildren, and one grandchild, as well as his brother Mark S. Phillips (Naples, FL) and Kristyn Leigh Koppman (Shingletown, OR).

The family plans to hold a celebration of his life on November 10th in Los Alamos at the Sheriffs Posse Lodge from 4-7pm. For additional details, please reach out to In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Sierra Club or Geohazards International. 

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