School 21

Phillip A Bounds

November 5, 2020


Phillip A. Bounds passed away Thursday, November 5, 2020 at the Poplar Bluff Medical Center from complications of COVID-19.

Phil was born in Detroit Michigan to Samuel L. Bounds and Mabel Ballard Bounds (both deceased). He is survived by his wife Diana (Di) Bounds of Poplar Bluff and one sister Sandy Jones of Ohio. He is also survived by his sister in law Janis Gates and her husband Charles J. Gates of Poplar Bluff. Phil leaves behind nephews, nieces, great nephews and nieces, aunts and uncles, and a huge group of cousins. He also leaves behind a huge group of friends who he also loved dearly.

Phil married Diana Bounds (Edmundson) in 1976. After college, Phil joined the U.S. Air Force in 1981 serving 13 years. He and Di traveled the world enjoying 32 countries, some twice. Phil served his last four years in active service in Washington DC with an assignment to The White House. Phil served in the elite White House Communication Agency and supported three U.S. Presidents during his time there. Phil then went into Federal Civil Service beginning at the U.S. Treasury Dept. and finishing his 32 years of federal service at the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA) Headquarters, retiring as a GS-15 and holding the position as The National Security Director for Cyber Communications. While at NASA Phil supported the Shuttle Program until its cancellation in 2014. Many of the programs that Phil worked cannot be listed for National Security reasons, but those who served along side him know the stories. Phil loved NASA and strived to bring as many young people into the space world as possible. He was very active in after hour educational programs for hundreds of local youth.

Upon retirement in 2013, Phil and Di came home to Poplar Bluff and built a home. Phil immediately became concerned that the local youth was being left out of the technical educational opportunities in the future job field of cyber. Phil had a dream that with the right educational opportunities the youth could learn the skills to work computer programs from within Southeast Missouri, keeping high paying jobs here. Phil became engaged with local and state government agencies to stir up the interest necessary to get something accomplished. On October 30, 2018 Phil was present at the table when House Bill No. 3 of the 99 General Assembly was signed into law by Governor Bill Parsons which instituted leading edge computer coding to be included in all K-12 curriculum beginning in the school year 2020. Phil felt being a part of this was one of his greatest achievements.

Phil was a great man of faith. He loved the Lord, his family and his country. He loved blue grass music, golf, fly fishing, hunting, photography and good HOT coffee. He will be greatly missed by all.

A celebration of life will be held for Phil on November 24, 2020 at 1:00pm at The Living Word Baptist Church, 456 Township Line Road, Poplar Bluff, Missouri 63901.  There will be bluegrass music, stories and shared verbal memories of Phil's life.  Brother David Groves, Dr. Roger Vester, Dr. Zack Vester and Pastor Joseph Crites will officiate. 

Those who want to share a memory may provide a video, a picture or a tall tale in a hard copy or by electronic media to Amelia (Di) Bounds 1197 County Road 463, Poplar Bluff, Mo 63901 or by email to  For larger videos please provide a thumb drive or DVD.  Please come and be apart of this precious time to remember Phil. 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Phillip A Bounds, please visit our floral store.


Celebration of Life
November 24, 2020

1:00 PM

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