Philip Alan Captain

20 juin 194714 juillet 2021
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Philip Alan Captain, 74, went to be with his Lord Wednesday, July 14, 2021. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Donna Ruthe Captain. Born in Bluffton, Ind., June 20, 1947, he was the son of the late Lewis Captain and Doris Martin Captain. He was also preceded in death by one brother, Ken Captain. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his daughter, Laurie Ruthe Rice and husband Josh of Forest; two sons, Jason Captain and wife Jennifer of Highlands Ranch, CO and Keith Captain and wife Kelyn of Midlothian; nine grandchildren, Caleb Rice, Abbey Rice, Tyler Captain, Kristina Captain, Carter Rice, Mason Captain, Grant Captain, Hudson Rice and Lucas Captain; two brothers, David Captain and wife Linda and Louie Captain and wife Lisa and one sister, Susan Terhune. Phil earned his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 1975. He was a retired Psychology professor from Liberty University and was a member of Thomas Road Baptist Church where he enjoyed singing in the choir. Phil was also an avid sports enthusiast and rarely missed a Liberty sporting event. Phil earned a spot in the Athletic Hall of Fame at Taylor University as a 3-time NAIA All-American Track & Field and Cross Country athlete. He was a loving husband, father and grandfather. A memorial service celebrating his life and faith will be conducted at 6:00 p.m. Monday, August 2, 2021 at Thomas Road Baptist Church with Pastor Scott Bullman officiating. The family will receive friends following the service until 7:30 p.m.

The service will be livestreamed and can be viewed athttps://watch.trbc.org/media/t/1_tovbc3ld. Those wishing to make memorial contributions are asked to consider the Thomas Road Baptist Church music ministry, 1 Mountain View Dr., Lynchburg, VA 24502, www.trbc.org. To send condolences online, please visit www.whittentimberlake.com.


  • Donna Captain, Wife of 50 years
  • Laurie Rice (Josh), Daughter
  • Jason Captain (Jennifer), Son
  • Keith Captain (Kelyn), Son
  • Caleb Rice, Grandson
  • Abbey Rice, Granddaughter
  • Tyler Captain, Grandson
  • Kristina Captain, Grandson
  • Carter Rice, Grandson
  • Mason Captain, Grandson
  • Grant Captain, Grandson
  • Hudson Rice, Grandson
  • Lucas Captain, Grandson
  • David Captain (Linda), Brother
  • Louie Captain (Lisa), Brother
  • Susan Terhune, Sister
  • Ken Captain, Brother (deceased)


  • Celebration of Life

    lundi, 2 août , 2021


Philip Alan Captain


Jayman Avery

20 juillet , 2021

To the Family of Philip Captain: Our deepest condolences on the loss of Phil. I am also a TU CC and Track alumnus (Class of '81), which is a few years after the great Phil Captain. His excellence was often recounted by Coach Glass, and he remains on the Top Ten List in the Steeplechase. No doubt he would have remained on the List for the Mile and other events that were measured in yards. I recall meeting Phil at a TU CC/TF event many years ago where running stories were happily shared. May God bless each of you at this difficult time.
Jayman A. Avery III

George Glass

19 juillet , 2021

Dear Donna and family,
We are all aware of the reality of the end of life (here on earth) for all of us. Yet, when I read of Phil's passing I was caught off guard and very sad.
Phil was one of the most gifted and talented students with whom I ever worked.
As I shared the news of his death with our oldest daughter this morning (who was most likely 9 or 10 at that time) and ask if she remembered who I was speaking of, her quick response surprised me. I expected something about his outstanding running career but instead she remembered him singing the lead in "Oklahoma".
SO gifted and talented. Thank you for touching our lives Phil. You will be remembered and missed.

Larry Nelson

18 juillet , 2021

I'm so sorry to hear of Phil's passing. I will always remember him as a friend and colleague during our years at Liberty. Edna and I are praying for you and the family.

Larry Nelson

David Smeltzer

18 juillet , 2021

I am a classmate from elementary and high school. Although we haven't seen each other since high school, Philip is remembered with kindness and fondness.

He will be sorely missed by each of you. But, as a Christian, husband, father, grandfather, professor - his impact and legacy will continue to live for many generations.

May each of you find solace, peace, and comfort in our great creator God during this time of loss.

Dave Smeltzer

Josie G

18 juillet , 2021

Before we moved overseas, we were part of the Logos Sunday school with Phil. We will always remember when he stood up in class one Sunday and completely unprompted, challenged the class to take up an offering for us as our only car was dying. He told the class to treat us like they would treat their own grandchildren. It was an act of faith that blessed us greatly.

Lane Lester

16 juillet , 2021

I taught at LU from '79 to '94, and both Gail and I greatly enjoyed our friendship with Phil and Donna. What a blessing it is to have the sadness of losing a friend eased by the joy of our future reunion.


Ralph Foote

16 juillet , 2021

So sorry to hear of the huge loss of Phil to your family. It is also a huge loss to us friends and teammates. Donna, you and Margo Dubach were so special to us CC guys as we were away from home and you filled the place of our mothers which we needed. I respected Phil as the one person whom I knew that was able to do EVERYTHING he did very, very well. He was so accomplished! In cross country practices we were so competitive that Coach Glass once pulled us aside and said “back off for the sake of the team.” We did. I watched Phil run a masterful steeplechase race at nationals in Billings Montana which he proceeded to win after this being the first year for the event. It was truly a work of art in a very difficult event. An incredible special man. See you in eternity.

Matthew Hildebrand

15 juillet , 2021

Dr. Captian was one of the most influential mentors in my life. In my college years, and early adult life, I never made an important decision without speaking with Dr. Captian. He would never make the decision for me but would always share wisdom and godly counsel. Dr. Captain will be dearly missed by a host of former students and friends. Praying for Donna and the family.

Wendy Giannotti

15 juillet , 2021

Donna and family,
I am so sorry to hear of this great loss. You are all in my prayers as you walk through these next weeks. I will be out of state, and will not be able to attend the celebration of life service, but know that you will be on my heart. Donna, call me anytime if you want to. Love you!

Linda Bell

15 juillet , 2021

I was a student of Dr. Captain's at Liberty in the early 80s. He influenced my thinking about a Christian perspective of Psychology. He also challenged me to study and explore what scripture tells us about how God created us. When my own children attended Liberty, I ran into Dr. Captain at the football stadium. We had a great conversation and I was able to tell him how much I appreciated his influence. I am grateful for his strong, godly character. I will always remember him as an important part of my life.


Six year old Phil


Three oldest Captain boys win first place at the fair.


The Lewis & Doris Captain family - 1953


High School senior picture


The Captain Brothers


May 1968


Three time All American for Taylor University