From the time Phil was very young, he loved anything connected with space travel. What cemented that interest was his encounter with a UFO while fishing on Lake Erie with his best friend Jack. The hovering vehicle had gotten so close they could see several portals on it, the hair on their necks stood up, and the water around them rippled.
He had often jokingly told his children that a bump on his temple had originally been a tentacle that would allow him to keep in touch with his distant home planet, but his human mother had cut it off so only the nub remained. He spent so much time looking at the sky, that he was usually the first one in the family to notice airplanes, satellites, meteor showers, space anomalies, and UFOs.
Phil led a very interesting life, including sneaking into the military when he was only 16, becoming a sniper in the Army Corps of Engineers. He spent one too many times cavorting with girls past deadlines while off duty, which landed him in the stockade. Not one to sit still, he managed to escape amidst the gunfire of guards, saved at one point by a deer who took off from the brambles he was hiding in. "There he goes! Man that sucker's fast!"
He continued living through ups and downs, good and bad decisions. He robbed a bank, experienced time in prison, drove a race car, became a boxer, became a business owner, found the love of his life and settled down with her for 30 years. They had four great kids, and three grandkids. With all the risks he had taken in his life, his family was extremely fortunate to have been blessed with his warm, loving presence.
Phil had always loved and respected women, and had an affinity for classic cars, especially Pontiacs. He could tell you the make, model, and year of any antique vehicle at a glance, sometimes with only a glimpse of its taillight. Having been a mechanic, he knew the inner workings of countless cars.
He had old-fashioned values, and always stood up for what he believed was right. He lived life with a sense of humor, and was a great storyteller. If only he were still here to tell his own story, with his deep voice and witty words. He could do it better than text ever could.
He is greatly missed, and always will be. We love you, Phil.