Phil Camp was born on May 30, 1919 on the Camp family homestead in South Kent, CT, the son of Raymond A. Camp and Anna C. (Heinen) Camp. Other members of the family living in the house included his sister Agnes and his paternal grandparents, William F. and Nellie G. (Duvall) Camp.
This was a country home a little more than a mile from the store and post office in the hamlet of South Kent, about five miles from the Village of Kent. Kent was, and is, a beautiful small New England town where Phil grew up and attended school through all twelve grades. He graduated from Kent High School in June of 1936 in a class of eleven students.
Phil had no wish to attend college. He just wanted to be a farmer and the sooner the better. In fact, he had started his new career several years before he graduated from high school, having bought and raised several cows and calves and purchased some second-hand machinery. The Camp homestead had several old barns, and he and his grandfather became partners of a sort, calling themselves W. F. & P. W. Camp. Phil's love of animals and joy in working the land to produce hay and crops bore fruit and soon there were enough cows being milked to find a market. Phil, with the help from gramp Will, now about sixty-five years old, tended to the farming. Gramp taught Phil some things as they went along, while Phil read all of the farm books and magazines he could get his hands on. Phil's father, Raymond, while employed part-time off the farm, helped when needed by tinkering with machinery, cutting ice for summer refrigeration, cutting trees for heating and cooking fuel, and doing anything else that needed doing.
Phil married fellow Kent resident (by way of Bronx, NY) Marie Neels (me!) on October 18, 1942 at the Congregational Church in Kent. We built our tiny cottage (18 x 24 ft.) just east of the old farmhouse and moved in, living there for many years while working the farm and raising our son Bill and daughter Dianne. After his retirement from dairy farming, Phil worked as a cook at two institutions in neighboring New York State, while keeping some farm animals for home use and to keep the farm fields open. Later, when the old folks were gone, we lived for a time in the old farmhouse before building the house on Mud Pond Road where Phil and I lived until his death on September 25, 1997.
Marie N. Camp