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Golf course manager Mike Phipps dies
Mike Phipps.tif
Mike Phipps

Michael D. Phipps, the last surviving son of the family who built, owned and operated the River Oaks Golf Course in Ceres, died Sunday.

A memorial service will be held for the golf course manager at 11 a.m. Saturday at Richland Faith Assembly of God Church, 1201 Richland Avenue, in Ceres.

"It's a big loss," commented City Councilman Ken Lane. "He was the last brother left. They all passed away young."

Michael was the brother of the late Ceres City Councilman Rob Phipps who was manager of the course when he died at age 44 in December 2007. His parents were Jim and Carol Phipps who developed the golf course in 1979. Carol Phipps died in 2008 and Jim Phipps in 2009.

Michael's life was punctuated with a series of tragedies. He watched all of his brothers pass away. William H. Phipps died in an airplane crash in Alaska, Douglas A. Phipps was claimed by cancer, and Robert L. Phipps, a member of the Ceres City Council, died of a heart attack in 2007.

He leaves behind his wife, Kimberly Phipps; and his sister, Janis M. Phipps of Hughson.

Mike Phipps became ill shortly after proposing in 2013 to convert the top nine holes and driving range into a tract home subdivision, a plan that was not well received by those living in custom homes along Golf Links Drive.