The Star - News, views and advertising of the Grand Coulee Dam Area

Coulee Medical Center ER and Walk-In Care

Philip L. Grunlose Sr.


Last updated 11/15/2017 at 10:57am

Philip L. Grunlose Sr. died at age 82 on Tuesday, October 24, 2017. Philip passed away with his family by his side at Coulee Medical Center, in Grand Coulee, Washington.

Philip was born in the Kartar Valley, Washington. He attended St. Mary's Mission Indian School and later graduated from Omak High School in 1951. Philip attended college at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, and it was during this time he met his future wife, Kay F. Hutchings. They were married at St. Mary's Mission on June 23, 1956, and recently celebrated their 62nd anniversary.

Philip's career path started with BIA, working in range at the Colville Confederated Tribes. He then worked with Job Corps, taking his family to Eagle Butte, South Dakota, then moving back to Ft. Simcoe Job Corps in White Swan, Washington. Starting in the early 70s, Philip decided to play music with his band full time and traveled across the northwest. He was ready to tour across Canada when he was called by the Yakima Nation to administer the failing ANA federal program. Philip then worked with the Warm Springs Tribal administrative offices and moved his family to Warm Springs, Oregon, in 1979.

Philip always wanted to return to the Colville Confederated Tribes, his home reservation. In the summer of 1980, Philip moved his family to Coulee Dam and started working for the CCT as the director of personnel. Philip then took a position as director of Area on Aging, working with the senior citizen programs. Philip suffered a heart attack, which forced an early retirement in 1998. In 2000, Philip returned to work with the CCT as Director of the tribal greenhouse. In 2004, because of his health, Philip decided to retire for good.

Since his teens, Philip loved to sing, play guitar and play music with his band. Because of Philip's early success in his career, he created more acceptance for Native American musicians. He paved the way for later generations of NW Native American musicians. Philip loved to play music for worthy causes, donating his time to entertain for Toys for Tots, Suicide Prevention, and Treaty Days, just to name a few.

Philip L. Grunlose Sr. is survived by two sons: Philip Jr. and Greg; three daughters: Debra, Dianna and Cheryl; 21 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

There are many friends and family that Philip leaves behind. He enjoyed the beautiful drive and time he spent at the Keller senior center.

The Grunlose family would like to thank all the people involved in helping us through this transitional time in our lives. Our appreciation and blessing go out to all the extended family, friends, and the staff at the Nespelem Community Center.

Please sign Philip's online register book at

Strate Funeral Home of Grand Coulee is honored to be serving Philip's family.


Reader Comments


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2019