Dr. Bryan M. Phifer, 92, of Columbia, died Sunday April, 15, 2018.

A memorial service will be 1:30 p.m., Saturday, June 16 at Memorial Baptist Church in Columbia. A reception will follow immediately after the service.

He was born in Edwardsville, Kan., to parents Opal Joy (Freeman) Phifer and Paul Joy Phifer, the third of four sons. He was raised on a dairy farm, and helped milk the cows and deliver the milk in Kansas City.

Upon graduation from high school in 1943, Bryan joined the Naval Air Corps.

After World War II, he enrolled at the University of Missouri and earned bachelor's and master's degrees.

Bryan married his wife of 70 years, Doris May Phifer, on Dec. 22, 1947. Bryan later earned a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.

Over the course of a 44 year career, Bryan worked for the Federal Extension Service of the Department of Agriculture in Pettis County, at the University of Missouri, and in Washington, D.C. He was a professor in the Department of Community Development at MU from 1968 until his retirement in 1988.

After retirement, Bryan directed the International Community and Rural Development Institute, a MU summer program, for several years.

He was a follower of Jesus and served as a deacon and teacher for many years in his church, Memorial Baptist.

Other interests included his work with the Optimist Club, the PET Project/Mobility Worldwide, Habitat for Humanity, and serving as a hospital volunteer.

Bryan, and his wife Doris opened their home to several refugee families from Vietnam, Laos, and then Liberia. He was always interested in people and in learning their stories.

In addition to his family, flying was one of Bryan's greatest loves. He soloed at age 16 and continued this hobby throughout his adult years.

Bryan is survived by his his wife, Doris May Phifer; children, Carolyn Goodman (Mark), Barbara Phifer (Tom Sanders), and Stephen Phifer (Patricia); grandchildren, Nicholas and John Goodman, Sarah, Benjamin, and Daniel Swofford, LeeAnne and Jonathan Sanders, Kristi and Erik Phifer; great-grandchildren, Alexandra and Elliott Goodman, Sebastian and Sam Perez-Swofford, Skyley, Thomas, and Lilah Sanders, Anna and Lydia Swofford, and Miles Perez.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Bryan and Doris Phifer Scholarship Endowment at the University of Missouri, the Coyote Hill Children's Home, or Memorial Baptist Church.