Gardening 01

Maurice 'Phil' Philip Rippin

April 15, 1949 ~ May 11, 2023 (age 74) 74 Years Old

Maurice 'Phil' Rippin Obituary

On May 11th, we lost our Phil to Cancer. He battled with courage and strength without complaint or self-pity. He meant the world to everyone who knew him and always brought along his tremendous smile.

He was deeply loved by his wife Mary, his children Sarah (Lyon), Julia (Andrew), and Aaron (Bonnie), as well as his grandchildren Ashley, Felix, and Remy.

He was sadly predeceased by his father Maurice, his mother Eileen, and brother Gerald.

Phil’s family were Okanagan pioneers from France who had orchards in Oliver, Summerland, and Penticton. His love for the Okanagan Valley had deep roots and that love was ingrained in him as he grew up on the Upper Bench in Penticton, enjoying the wonderful freedom of orchard life. As a young adult, he persuaded a psychology degree at UBC in Vancouver and spread his wings travelling for a year in Europe.

His love for the outdoors led him to a career in BC Parks. With the parks branch, he worked in the Okanagan, Mount Seymour, Muncho Lake, Cultus Lake, and lastly, Fort St. John. Returning to Penticton, Phil and Mary Married and raised 3 children in the family home.

Phil shared his love of skiing at Apex with his family as well as camping, hiking, photography, and the outdoor world.

His work life led him from landscaping with Robin Dunham, to Oliver School District, then back to Penticton for a career with the city in the Parks Department. At the same time, Phil enjoyed working at Art Knapps Plantland as well as Garden Works. During this time, he also gained a degree in horticulture and became a certified arborist.

The many wonderful people he met during his life and how he had impacted their lives is clear from the many messages of love and support sent his way in the last year and a half as he struggled with stage 4 Cancer.

Phil loved his time meeting people and sharing his considerable knowledge and expertise as well as his love for the natural world. Even in retirement, his great joy was going to work at Garden Works and enjoying the positive energy of that beautiful store and the people who work there. He was especially grateful to Carly Esson, Henry and Marg King, and Scott and Suzy Austen for so many things, but especially for giving him the opportunity to enjoy his weekend and retirement job so much.

We would like to thank Todd Whyte and the city employees who planted a tree in Phil’s honour at Skaha Park where he spent so much time. I hope to have a bench nearby with a plaque in Phil’s memory.

We would like to express our deep gratitude to Dr. Isak Van der Westhuizen and the many doctors, nurses, and technicians at the Kelowna Cancer Centre, Especially Dr. Rao who gave Phil precious time. The staff at the Penticton Oncology Department, the Summerland Health Unit, and the Penticton Emergency Department were always helpful and accommodating and we visited often. To the unselfish staff and volunteers at Andy Moog Hospice, thank you for making his final homes as comfortable as possible for him and making his family feel so welcome.

To Jo and the thoughtful, inspiring people at Oranj Fitness, thank you for your friendship and support for me as I travelled with Phil on his difficult journey.

We will have a celebration of Phil’s life at a later date.

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