Tonganoxie Phil saw his "groundhog" shadow Monday, which means Tonganoxie will have six more weeks of winter. Phil Stevens, a longtime Tonganoxie physician, wears another hat every February as Tonganoxie's answer to Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog in Punxsutawney, Pa.
Tonganoxie Phil (Dr. Phil Stevens) could see his shadow Monday afternoon, but the day before — Groundhog Day 2014 — the local weather prognosticator didn't see his shadow. And thus, an early spring should be on its way.
Dr. Phil Stevens, who just marked 60 years of service yesterday, died in his sleep overnight.
Stevens was featured in Wednesday's edition of The Mirror.
The family physician and local icon delivered babies early in his career while also serving as a family physician all those years.
The last several years, he also has been known as Tonganoxie Phil, the local answer to Punxsutawney Phil. A local radio station would contact him for his weather predictions each February. The Mirror continued the tradition after the radio station discontinued the annual report.
He served his patients out of the same office for all 60 years. Walking into the office, one could see what it might have looked like 60 years ago, as much of the furniture remain unchanged. A Mirror story in 2003 looked back on his nearly 50 years of service
Danielle Irwin, 5, tries on tiptoes to reach the sliding weight on
the old set of scales in Dr. Phil Stevens' Tonganoxie doctors
office. The scales belonged to Phil's father, Dr. Delos Stevens,
and were used in his Oskaloosa office. Danielle is the daughter of
Steve and Elizabeth Irwin.
Dr. Phil Stevens’ entire family met at his office Friday to move in a bench made in his honor. Pictured, from left, are Dr. Phil’s wife, Betty Stevens, daughter Lisa Scheller, son Chuck Stevens, Dr. Phil, sons Phillip, Danny and Matt, and daughter Loralee Stevens.
at the time.
Stevens was 87.