Dad was an involved dad long before it was cool. Thanks to that, we had a ridiculously happy childhood. Even in the height of the oil boom and bust, he was home with us every night, never missing any of our games, coaching Lori in soccer, and helping with Glen’s hockey. He genuinely loved his family, his friends and our friends, and they loved him too, simply because he was such a great guy.
Born and raised in Calgary, he graduated from Crescent Heights High School where he played hockey, football and baseball. His grandkids thought it was hilarious that he was named “Class Romeo” in one of his yearbooks.
Dad and Mom started dating in grade 12 and got married on July 4, 1964. They both grew up poor, but smart. So smart. Dad worked his way to becoming a chartered accountant and became VP Finance of Pacific 66 (later Petro Can) at the age of 29. While he was never loud, he was very social and he loved his hockey parent parties, his very social curling club and golfing with the guys.
At 44, he swore off suits and the oil patch forever and bought in to Tradex Supply/Barbecues Galore where he remained involved for the rest of his life. Unfortunately, over the years, he developed some weird health issues which eventually compromised his lungs. Nevertheless, he always stubbornly insisted he was fine (think Monty Python’s “only a flesh wound”). He was always game for anything.
He and mom travelled extensively throughout Canada, US and the world, passing on a love of travel to us. Dad’s passion was golf and he was effortlessly good at it. Glen and Teddy both wanted to beat him, but we’re not sure they ever did. He was a member at both Lynx Ridge and the Hamptons and looked forward to both the golf and the nineteenth tee.
When he and Mom found themselves with money, they didn’t spend it on stuff – they spent it on creating memories with their family. Every second year they would take us and our kids on a family Christmas trip and those were so fun! He and Mom would happily captain opposing teams as we created silly events for our family Olympics and scavenger hunts on family weekends. Even in their 70s, Dad and Mom were doing running relay races in the pool or climbing trees to claim the goofy trophies we created out of beer boxes. He loved his extended family too, and nothing made him happier than a family barbecue (except the one when he almost cut off his finger with the meat slicer).
When Mom’s memory started to fail a couple of years ago, Dad did what he always did – he stepped up to take care of her. His love for her was so deep, it inspired Danielle to write a school essay about their unconditional love as a defining moment in her life. He did so much of her care himself, but he was deeply grateful to mom’s sister Gerry and Mom’s friends who stepped in to be with Mom whenever they could.
Tired of being trapped in their seniors’ home because of COVID-19, Dad was thrilled to escape on a visit to Glen and Shelley in Summerland. He spent his last 9 days on earth sitting outside, looking at Lake Okanagan and having happy hours by the fire table (no smoke for his lungs). Unfortunately, his heart and lungs had enough, and he passed away quickly in the night. His much-loved dog Parker (who had also had a heart attack two days earlier) rallied back and was with Dad when he died. We are so happy they went to heaven on the same day – Heather was there to greet them.
Dad is survived by his wife of almost 57 years, Sharon; his son Glen (Shelley Miller) and his children Jordyn (Kevin Sharfe) and Chad; daughter Lori (Tim) Wiens and their children Teddy, Matthew and Danielle; sister-in-law Gerry Cooper; brothers Barry (Ronnie) and Grant (Leslie); cousin and best friend Ed (Marilynn) Evans and his incredibly important nieces, nephews and their families.
In lieu of flowers, raise a glass to Phil, a true gentleman in every sense of the word. Dad, rest peacefully knowing you were our rock, our role model and one of the best men we have ever known. We love you and thank you for everything – you could not possibly have been a better husband, a better dad or a better man.
Love, Glen and Lori