Cover photo for Philip Dee Jeffs's Obituary
1965 Philip Dee Jeffs 2024

Philip Dee Jeffs

September 15, 1965 — February 13, 2024

Salt Lake City

If the world listens closely, they’ll hear it. It’s almost imperceptible, but it’s there. We’ve lost something. Those of us who knew Philip D. Jeffs—his family, his friends, his colleagues—now know all too well what it is that’s gone.  Philip passed away—quietly and without making any fuss beyond briefly shrugging his shoulders in dignified resignation, on Tuesday, February 13, 2024, in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Born on September 15, 1965, Philip was 58 years old.  


At his passing,  Philip was closely surrounded by far more family members than hospital visiting rules generally allow, unless the healthcare workers look the other way. Which they did, most kindly.  


Philip’s battle with cancer was extremely brief (four weeks in all), but he amazed those who knew him with his undaunted courage to just get on with whatever treatment doctors ordered. By all accounts, he never despaired.  That memory will give those of us who knew him something strong to lean on when facing similar heady challenges.


Philip met his husband, Dennis, while they were students at University of Utah in 1996. They have been together ever since, and were officially married in December 2013, when they were first permitted to do so legally. 


Philip was the consummate gearhead—whether for electronics, cars, motorcycles, road and mountain bikes, hiking or skiing equipment.   Philip was at his most vulnerable at each and every release of a new Apple product.


Philip was an excellent teacher, and he felt grateful to have landed a gig as a faculty member at the University of Utah School of Business (Philip’s alma mater) for the latest phase of a tax accounting career that he loved very much.


Philip actively engaged in community service, and served several years as a board member of Artspace Utah, a nonprofit organization providing affordable housing and commercial spaces for artists, nonprofits and small businesses, and Guadalupe School, a nonprofit organization providing diverse families from marginalized communities with education and other important resources.


Phillip was assertive (cantankerous, according to his husband) and quite capable of vociferously advocating for himself and loved ones every time the need arose. A characteristic that his (oddly) conflict-avoidant lawyer husband eventually came to appreciate and admire during their 28 years together.


Philip loved (LOVED!) travel, any outing, party or dinner with family and friends, where he endeared so many of us with his clever, sarcastic wit.


Philip didn’t have kids of his own, which was perhaps best because over the years he serruptitiously “adopted” as his own many nieces and nephews including, later on, even the children of these original adoptees.


Philip is preceded in death by his father, Mark Dee Jeffs, and a brother-in-law, Anthony (Tony) David Cushing.


Philip is survived by his husband Dennis Owens, his mother LaRue Woodall Jeffs, his sister Jolene (Clyde) Ashcraft, his brother Mark (Julie) Jeffs, his sister Paula Cushing, and the aforementioned adopted nieces and nephews: Heather Ashcraft, David (Aubrie) Ashcraft, Stacie (Ben) Gerdes, Sarah (Tanner) Martin, Haley Jeffs, Mackenzie (Kolten) Smith, Lindsay Jeffs, Madison (Chris) Cushing-Keochaleune, and Jakob Cushing, as well as many beloved great- nieces and nephews. Philip is also survived by many dear friends whose love, support and frequent dinner parties Philip so very much enjoyed over the years.  


Oh, and Philip is survived by his dog, Jackson, who managed to charm Philip into becoming Jackson’s very own “Emotional Support Human”—a job for which Philip’s husband insists he’ll not apply, thank you very much!


Philip’s family extend many heartfelt thanks to the invariably kind, compassionate healthcare providers at University of Utah Hospital and Huntsman Cancer Hospital, especially Makayla, who vigilantly cared for Philip as he transitioned to his new adventure.


Philip’s family, friends and colleagues are invited to attend a visitation for Philip to be held Tuesday, February 20, 2024, from 9:00 a.m. through 10:45 a.m., as well as a memorial service from 11:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m., both of which will be held at Memorial Murray Mortuary, located at 5850 S. 900 E., Murray, Utah. Interment will follow at the Murray City Cemetery, located at 5490 S. Vine Street, Murray, Utah.


In lieu of flowers, colleagues, friends and family are encouraged to make a contribution to Huntsman Cancer Institute, Huntsman Cancer Institute Artspace Utah or Guadalupe School.

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

Service Schedule

Past Services


Tuesday, February 20, 2024

9:00 - 10:45 am (Mountain time)

Memorial Murray Mortuary

5850 S 900 E, Murray, UT 84121

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Memorial Service

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Mountain time)

Memorial Murray Mortuary

5850 S 900 E, Murray, UT 84121

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Tuesday, February 20, 2024

12:15 - 1:15 pm (Mountain time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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