Phil Homeratha

Funeral services for Phil Homeratha, 68, Lawrence will be held 1:30 p.m., Saturday, December 31, 2011 at Warren-McElwain Mortuary in Lawrence.  Burial will be at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, January 2, 2011 at Otoe-Missouria Cemetery in Red Rock, OK.  He died December 29, 2011 at Brandon Woods at Alvamar in Lawrence.

Phil was born on March 22, 1943 in Red Rock, OK the son of Curtis and Luella (Black) Homeratha.  He was a member of the Otoe-Missouri Tribe and was raised by his grandparents, Dugan and Katie Black, who were his first mentors.

He graduated from Haskell Institute in 1961 and received his Bachelor’s in Education from Tarkio College in Tarkio, MO.  He then went on to receive his Master’s degree in Education from Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, MO.

He taught first at Redfield Iowa High School, for two years.  He then began his college teaching and coaching career at Huron College in South Dakota, where he was for one year. From 1971 he taught at Haskell Indian Nations University and coached football, wrestling, track and field, cross country and men’s basketball.  Since 1995 he has been the head women’s basketball coach and was Athletic Director for five years until he officially resigned in February 2011; however, he continued at Haskell in a teaching capacity.  He devoted 40 years of his life to coaching, teaching & mentoring native youth.

He was awarded the Outstanding Haskell Alumnus in the spring of 2011.  He was a member of the National Indian Education Association, the National Education Association, National Junior College  Athletic Association, Coach’s Association for Intercollegiate Athletics, Haskell Alumni Association, and Tarkio Alumni Association where he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1990.                                 

Survivors include two sisters, Reba Homeratha, Pasadena, TX and Freda Homeratha, Oklahoma City, OK; and numerous nieces and nephews, as well as his Haskell family of friends and students.  He was preceded in death by a sister, Lily Homeratha Rice; and a brother, John Homeratha.

Friends will gather from 7:30 – 9 p.m. on Friday, December 30, 2011 at Warren-McElwain Mortuary in Lawrence. 

Memorial contributions may be made in his name to the Haskell Foundation – Women’s Basketball Scholarship and may be sent in care of the mortuary. 


51 Condolences

  1. Clark Evans on December 29, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    A great man, athlete and a true friend. Phil made a tremendous difference in my life. He will be missed.

  2. Greg Frost on December 29, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    I was his Asstant basketball Coach from 1999-2002. Learned so much basketball from him. Thank you Coach.

    Greg Frost

  3. Jyme Lowe on December 29, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    Coach was the reason that I came to Haskell and this weekend he will be the reason I return. I can’t imagine how different life would have been without his guidance! He was a coach, counselor, and most importantly a friend. Forever a place in my heart for him. Heaven now has an Iron Man Angel.

  4. Leandra "Grams" Galindo on December 29, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    Coach Homeratha was a Sincere, Dedicated Warrior who Loved his Students Very Much and Changed the Lives Of Others….I’ve known Coach Homeratha for the past 11 or so years and he has taught me to never give up…He Surely Will Be Missed By Family, Friends and Haskell…Onward Haskell!

  5. Erick Kemppaine on December 29, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    Coach was a great man and will be missed by all. god bless him.

  6. Michael Daney on December 29, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    I am proud to call Phil a friend. Phil, thanks for everything you have done for Haskell and our Indian nations. You will be missed by many.

  7. Jesse James, Jr. on December 29, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    I knew Coach Homeratha (Phil) for many years. I met him in the spring of 1973 while playing on the Football team. I will miss him greatly. My deepest sympathies go out to all his family, and many Haskell friends and staff.

    Jesse James (Lawrence, KS)

  8. Joel Hernandez on December 29, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    Coach Homeratha did amazing things for the Haskell Community. I still remember all the excitement back in 1998 when the women’s basketball team went all the way to 3rd place in the national tournament. He helped change many lives, for the good. You Sir, are a Hero, God Bless.

  9. Ramona Panzetanga on December 29, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    love & prayers 2 all tht was blessed w having such a great n wonderful man be part of their lives. will be deeply missed…

  10. Joshua Woosypitti on December 29, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    It was an honor to have known Phil, he was a great man that served his community and alma mater well.

  11. Carlos T. Cornelius on December 29, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    A Great Warrior has left us! He was a Great Coach and Mentor. He will be a Legend at Haskell and will be sadly missed. The Great Spirit has called his name to the Spirit World. I will always remember when I played Fastpitch Softball against him. He told me that this Northern Boy couldnt hit off of him since he was a elite Softball Pitcher. Low and behold I hit his best pitch he had. He was my Football Coach at Haskell and taught me alot about life. I will miss him! I know he struggle with Colon Cancer and gave me the courage to go and get tested. Thanks Coach!!! May the Great Spirit Guide you on your Journey to the Spirit World and I will see you there one day! R.I.P. Coach!!!

  12. Francis Attocknie III on December 29, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    Coach Homeratha was a good man.. Rest in Peace Coach..

  13. Elma Brown-Prue on December 29, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    Heaven received a great man today. Thank you Coach for not only being a great Track coach but a great mentor as well. Much love and prayers to your Haskell Family.

  14. Coach Wayne Davidson on December 29, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    So sad to hear of Phil’s death, I was his baskeball coach at Tarkio College and have so many fond memories of him. Phil will always be remembered as a great athlete and friend.

  15. Daniel Dyer on December 29, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    Coach was always upbeat and positive. He really enjoyed seeing the personal growth of Haskell students and was always encouraging. I remember meeting him on Saturday mornings for racquetball at the Haskell courts. He had a couple of decades on me but he consistently put me in my place. It was an honor to be his student and his friend.

  16. Bryan Raymond on December 29, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    RIP Coach, you had an impact on so many young lives over the years…I am glad I got to be a part of it, and truly feel blessed. God Bless.

  17. Jessica Lackey on December 29, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    Coach Homeratha, it was such an honor to have you as my racquetball teacher. You had a gift with teaching us students (and making us run all over the court as you kicked our butts.) You were also a great coach and asset to Haskell. You will be dearly missed by many. I hope your journey into the spirit world is a good one. Tsedasdasdesdi (I will see you again.)

  18. Greta M. Myers on December 29, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    For a great friend from Haskell, may you RIP Coach Homeratha! You were an inspirational person, great motivator who believed in a student(s) and encouraged them on their way. You will be greatly missed!

  19. Jennifer Keahnah on December 29, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    R.I.P Coach Homeratha. He was an amazing person, mentor and coach. Coach was always smiling, in a great mood and always competitive in racquetball. He will be greatly missed!

  20. Metoxen Family on December 29, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Homeratha family and his Haskell Family.

    The Metoxen Family
    Oneida, WI

  21. Marty Conrad on December 29, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    Coach Homeratha influenced my life in becoming a teacher/coach/adminstrator. I was glad to visit him two years ago and let him know how much he meant to me. Thank you coach Homeratha!!

  22. Stanley H. Ross & Family on December 29, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    Our most sincere condolences and thank you so much for your dedication to Haskell.

  23. Jane McMenamin on December 29, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    Phil..was a Wonderful man, Teacher & Coach. He has touched many lives in a Very Positive way. Much Love and Prayers for him & his loved ones.

  24. Sheila Ward on December 29, 2011 at 11:51 pm

    Coach Homeratha will be greatly missed. I worked with him sponsoring events and Pepsi beverages at Haskell.His passion for the University was greatly admired and he was one of the most kindest,gentle, and friendliest person I have ever met.

  25. Sheldon Selwyn on December 30, 2011 at 8:18 am

    He was a great coach and professor, very helpful to the students at HINU.

  26. Linda Brunk Smith on December 30, 2011 at 9:38 am

    Phil was the greatest all-round athlete to graduate from Tarkio College, and we loved and honored him his entire life. He was a charter member of our Athletic Hall of Fame and he sent other native American Hall of Famers our way. Phil, we will miss your great smile and positive out-look. Love you friend.

  27. John Dehan OP Ks on December 30, 2011 at 9:45 am

    Phil was highly respected by his many friends in the KC Metro Senior Softball League where he was a very fine ballplayer for many years.

  28. Gary Hines on December 30, 2011 at 9:53 am

    Phil and I competed with each other for many years in fastpitch. Then we met again in Lawrence as we were both coaching. Phil was a great ambassador for Haskell and an even better person.

  29. Ken Rivas on December 30, 2011 at 11:28 am

    I was blessed to have played football for Coach Homeratha back in the 78-80. I thank God for Mr. Phil Homeratha. His blessings helped me as an athlete, student and most of all, he helped me as an in individual to make it in life. Thank you Coach. One of God’s blessings in my life and to many other people.

  30. Eugene Bowers on December 30, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    Rest In Peace to my dear friend & Haskell mascot!

    You will be in our hearts, We will remember your smile & laughter YOU will be my brother forever. Miss you dearly..

    The Bowers Family

    Eugene, Mary & Phil

  31. Ron and Delores Twohatchet (HI-64) on December 30, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Delores and I have lost a valued friend. It saddens us to hear of the passing of our classmate and friend. Homer and I shared a common interest in athletics, academics, and education. As a member of the Haskell Board of Regents, I will miss my visits with my buddy and friend. Thank you for passing our way. “ONWARD HASKELL, KEEP THE GOOD OLD NAME BEFORE YOU NEVER LET IT DIE.” Will meet you on the otherside of the ARCH. Condolences to our Haskell family and Phil’s family. Ron and Delores Twohatchet (HI-64)

  32. Sandy Nesbit Tracy on December 30, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    Rest in peace, Phil, and thank you for all the contribtuions you have made. I was behind Phil at Tarkio College and respected him. To your family and others who loved you, you have my sympathy.

  33. Penny Postoak Ferguson on December 30, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    Phil is like an Uncle to me. I have known him all my life and he was always a positive, supportive, fun influence. He will be greatly missed!

  34. Don Osborne on December 30, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    Thanks for all your help and support. I enjoyed the short time we were able to spend together.

  35. David Bertholf on December 30, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    Phil was a great athlete on the softball field, a great teammate, and outstanding 3rd baseman, but most of all a great friend and always had a smile on his face.

  36. John Gerstle on December 31, 2011 at 9:57 am

    I am sorrowed by the passing of a wonderful man and a kind spirit. Only Phil would understand my reference to “Goodbye, Chief Insane Colt” Rest in Peace and know that you have a giant footprint for all those who knew you and those who will follow.

  37. Stewart Family on December 31, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    Thank you for your time and dedication to the people. You always had encouraging words for me. You will be missed.

  38. Del Maxwell on January 1, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    I was saddened to here this of
    Coach Homeratha. He was a great guy with a wonderful smile and laugh. He influenced me through my years of coaching and I had just reconnected with him a couple years ago. I was a member of the first basketball team he ever coached at Dexfield H.S. He has passed away to a better place, but he is not forgotten and he will be living through a lot of hearts
    and minds of all the kids he helped to grow and mature. Bless you coach!!

  39. Brian Sargeant on January 1, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    To a great warrior,great leader,great coach, great man,father to all of us on the basketball court and in life πŸ™ you will be missed but never be forgetten in the words that you have spoken was the greatest win i ever won on the court and in life πŸ™ thank you for all that you have done for native people in our daily struggles and bringing them into being a Haskell Indian πŸ™‚ may you rest in peace and walk along the creator in the spirit world.

  40. Myra Starr on January 2, 2012 at 1:40 am

    Coach, how many lives you touched and so how many lives were changed because of your dedication. You never lost your ability to smile because you could see the positive in it all. It was always a pleasure to visit with you and be encouraged just one more time. It was truly a blessing to know you.

  41. Chuck Main on January 2, 2012 at 7:08 am

    I had the good fortune to know Phil the past 19 years as a teammate thru Senior softball and just would add that he was the very best as a teammate and friend. Competed hard but fairly, fun, compassionate and intelligent man. Great memories as player and friend and to his former players that he coached- you were lucky. We all should be better people for knowing him. Miss you Phil.

  42. Randy & Angela Barnoskie on January 3, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Phil, thank you for being a great friend. We had the pleasure to know you and work with you and have learned from you. Your work ethics and positivity will always be remembered. You will be greatly missed.

  43. Ramona Yazzie Cole on January 3, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    We will truly miss Phil, who gave so much of his life to Haskell. He loved his family, friends, and most of all his students past and present. It will not be the same at Haskell without his Presence, but his Legacy lives on. Migwetch Phil for all that you have done for all of us, and for our school Haskell.

  44. Edward Palmer on January 4, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    It was that talk you gave me in the halls of the gym, that has given me the drive to constantly be better, plainly, because I can. I have never quit anything because of your example. I will always use your words to encourage the native kids I know, and pass on your wisdom.

    Thanks for everything coach. My only regret was not coming back to Haskell to tell you how much your talks meant to me.

    Creator bless and keep you close.

  45. Heather Van Mullem on January 4, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    Coach made a lasting impact on my life. I am a better person for having known him. He is missed.

  46. Maria on January 9, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    Condolences to the family. I met Coach Homeratha briefly and it was only because he approached me. He seen me cheering for both the boys and girls team at a basketball game at HINU. After a brief conversation he thanked me for supporting the teams. I thanked him for making me feel welcome.

  47. Col Ki L. Harvey USMC (Ret) on January 21, 2012 at 4:40 am

    Played football at Tarkio With Phil. He later coached at my high school, Redfield, IA. What a leader. What a great American! The world is a lessor place without Phil. Rest in peace.

  48. Rodney Brock on January 24, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    R.I.P. my friend Phil. You were one of the greatest third baseman ever with a quick flip on the wrist for double plays. I will miss you.

  49. Nick Paardekooper on January 31, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    I was one of Mr. Homeratha’s 7th grade students at Dexfield in Redfield, IA.
    He was a great man and teacher. I have thought of him many times over the years with much pride to have known him. The world has lost quite a man. I am so sorry for your and our loss.

  50. Cecil Mashburn, on February 1, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    I had the great honor to sit and visit with Coach at two football games this past Fall. During the Homcoming he would relay to nothing but good as one after another would pass by. He would take time to tell me how they were in school and how the made in life. Not only would he talk about the pass of Haskell but his vision for the future. Coach you have touch so many I consider you a friend and will mis you……

  51. Jeff "JT" Tarwater on May 4, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    Many may not realize, Phil was a REALLY talented mens fastpitch pitcher in the 70s and 80s. I caught Phil in many many games, roomed with him at many tournaments, became good friends, and still consider Phil a true mentor. He lives on with me. We’ll miss you Phil.

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