Rose-Mary Rumbley

“I was interested as a tiny child in gardens and plants.”

– Phil Huey

“I was interested as a tiny child in gardens and plants.” 

– Phil Huey

Phil Huey, a resident of The Tradition-Lovers Lane Independent Living community, emanates energy with his very smile – which he shares freely with one and all.  The Assistant Director of the Dallas Park and Recreation Department until he retired, he is still a busy man on the go, donating substantial volunteer hours and funds to worthy causes in Dallas and beyond.  

Those causes often relate in some way to his first love – horticulture and ornamental plants. “I was interested as a tiny child in gardens and plants,” says Phil, who was born in Graham, Texas.  “My family moved to a farm in Johnson County before I was in first grade.  We then moved to Cleburn, but still had the farm, which has been in the family for years and which I still have.”

Living on a farm undoubtedly influenced his love of beautiful, growing things, but what adult inspired him?  He was quick to respond when asked: “The wife of the Superintendent of Schools in Cleburn, Mrs. ‘Canary’ Emmet Brown.  She was a gardener, and each day I would walk by her yard – I was six or seven.  She was a great person and had a tremendous influence on me.  She taught me that it was OK to be interested in gardening and plants.”

Thus encouraged, he pursued this interest and eventually went to Texas A&M University, where he majored in Floriculture, or the study of ornamental plants. After a stint in the Army for three years, his positive A&M experience led to his pursuit of a job in horticulture or landscaping in Dallas in 1957.  “Through Bill Shibey, the Superintendent of Parks then, I landed a position as Greenhouse Manager in Old City Park,” said Phil, who was attracted to the fact that it was old and historic.

From there, Phil moved up and up within the Park Department, including being head of Maintenance of Regional Parks in Dallas. Eventually, he was named Assistant Director of the Park Department in 1972 and held that position until he retired in 1992.

“My main assignment was over all of recreation and maintenance, but while Assistant Director, I also filled the interim assignments of running the Zoo and Fair Park,” says Phil.  What a broad swath of responsibilities over Dallas’ natural treasures, and for so many years!

In addition to his professional responsibilities, his private giving, both financial and in volunteer hours, is impressive.  He has donated a great deal to A&M, and he also served as the Chairman of the Liberal Arts Development Council there; he donates to his own place of worship, the Highland Park Presbyterian Church; he contributes to conservation organizations, some even out of state; and he has worked fervently for the Dallas Arboretum for years, donating at the “Friend” level and chairing several times their Gardens and Grounds Committee.

Regarding the Arboretum, he says “I still go a lot – I enjoy going and knowing what’s happening there.” 

A hearty Dallas “Thank you” to this busy man, still on the go.

Linda Faulkner Johnston – The Tradition

Join our Community.

Fill out this form to learn more about our preeminent retirement Communities.

Tradition Senior Living logo - stacked version


A luxury senior living Community offering Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Memory Care services, all in a resort-style setting.


© 2008 - 2019 Tradition Senior Living. All rights Reserved.

Privacy Policy