PHILIP "PHIL" DOUGLAS FODDRELL
August 11, 1936 March 8, 2020
Philip "Phil" Douglas Foddrell, 83, longtime resident of Colorado Springs and computer engineering pioneer, passed away from lung cancer on March 8, 2020.
Born August 11, 1936, in Stuart, Va., Phil was educated at Patrick Central High School and the University of Wyoming, where he studied electrical engineering. He served honorably in the Air Force from 1959-62.
By fixing TVs, Phil taught himself how to work on computers. He became a pioneer in computer engineering, extraordinary not only for his field but also for helping break the color barrier as a black man in tech in the 1950s. He worked on the very first transistorized computer, at Philco (later, Ford Aerospace), and continued his career as an engineer at Lockheed-Martin.
Phil was well-read and loved to make people laugh, with a joke or two for every conversation. He was generous, kind, highly respected-and usually diplomatic. He loved blues and rock, playing guitar, banjo, keyboard, mandolin, and ukulele for fun. Sometimes he even brought his joyful dancing and singing with him into the grocery store. He was always up for a road trip.
He was preceded in death by his parents Posie Foddrell and Alice "Allie" Sheppard Edwards; his siblings Elizabeth Redd, Lloyd (Florence), Sarah "Willie" Moore, Marvin (Eloise), Turner (Barbara), Lucy McKay, Buren (Eleanor), Cedric; his first wife Loretta Grieg; and his stepdaughter Colleen Collins.
Phil will be lovingly remembered by his wife Catherine; Catherine's children Keola Ynigues and Haunani Ynigues; Haunani's son Lucas; Phil's siblings Elva Clark, Roger (Loretta), and Patricia; and Phil's stepchildren, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren: Kim Konzak (daughter Cassidy Catron), Troy (Gina) Collins (kids Tycen, Cecilee Shulz, Mikayla Rone), Darlene Biela (daughter Lori), Randy (Lori) Dunn (kids Jamie, Ashley Pinkington, Kelsey), and Greg Dunn.
The life of Philip Foddrell will be celebrated at a memorial on a later date.
Published in The Gazette on Oct. 4, 2020.