Phillip Staires, a longtime employee for Capital Assets, died Oct. 19, 2009. He was 50.

Mr. Staires was born in Kansas City, Mo., on July 23, 1959, to Mary K. and E. Harlin Staires. He was the youngest of three children. He and his family moved to Flagstaff in 1970, where he attended Kinsey Elementary School, East Flagstaff Junior High and Flagstaff High School. He earned his bachelor’s degree in geography and planning from Northern Arizona University.

Mr. Staires devoted more than 24 years to working for NAU. He was first hired as part of the groundskeeping staff in 1983. In 1984, he became a service maintenance worker, and in 1989 he was promoted to a plant maintenance mechanic. Shortly after, Mr. Staires transferred to Risk Management as a lead fire equipment technician. In June 2002, he was promoted to fire marshal, a role he held until his retirement in December 2007.

“Phil was a very dedicated employee and he took the safety of NAU’s community very seriously,” said Robert Chavez, director of Capital Assets Department of Environmental Health and Safety. “His extensive knowledge of NAU’s infrastructure and buildings was an asset to everyone. He played an important role in lifting the level of NAU’s fire safety, and we will continue his efforts forward. He will be missed.”

Mr. Staires was a great softball pitcher and an avid outdoorsman who participated in many seasons of hunting with his friends and family and lately with his youngest son, Lucas. He liked to refer to his home as “Elk Camp,” where he enjoyed cooking and incorporating his motto “The sloppier the better.”

Mr. Staires is survived by his wife of 23 years, Ramona; sons Jacob Lee and Lucas Dan; parents E. Harlin and Kit Staires; brother Steven (Rita); sister Deborah (George); many nieces and nephews; and many “adopted” sons.

An informal celebration of his life will be from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, at 3920 N. Tam O’Shanter Drive.