Dad left us on the 10th day of this month after courageously battling diabetes and kidney disease.
When it became obvious that the Lord wanted him, Dad, in typical fashion, told us he was prepared to go.
Gordon Albert Phillips was born in Toronto, Ont. on Nov. 8, 1921. He was the youngest of four boys born to Violet and Charles Phillips—a family that could trace their origins to the United Empire Loyalists.
He grew up in Toronto, becoming a popular student and athlete. At the age of 16, he met the first love of his life, Agnes McMahon. Four years later, Gordon would marry Agnes and then set off to serve his country with the Royal Canadian Air Force.
Gordon served with distinction in the Mediterranean theatre, flying Wellington bombers in North Africa and during the tumultuous siege of the Malta. He was saved from deployment to the Asian theatre by Truman’s decision to drop the atomic bomb and ended his military career with rank of flight lieutenant.
Back in Canada, Gordon would complete an agronomist course and in 1946 set off for Brandon, Man. to become a seed analyst and commercial salesman for McKenzie Seeds—a position he would hold until 1966 when he changed careers to become an insurance agent and broker.
He remained an active broker at Phillips Insurance agency right up until his final illness in August, 2010.
It was in 1965 that Gordon began his long association with the Kiwanis Club of Brandon, which for 45 years proved to be a great source of companionship and community spirit.
Dad also was a tremendous athlete, playing semi-pro lacrosse in the 1930s and excelling in basketball when he became an active member of the Brandon YMCA.
He joined the badminton club and was a vigorous player well into his 60s. In his latter years, he became an active golfer—a game that he especially enjoyed for the companionship which he found with his fellow players.
He also remained a devoted fan of the Toronto Blue Jays.
Dad lost his beloved Agnes, the mother of his three sons, on Feb. 28, 1974. Dad was not prepared to accept a bachelor’s life and entered a second wonderful marriage to Dawna Kelleher, which lasted until her premature death in 2000.
During their time together, Gordon and Dawna travelled around the globe. Memories of these travels gave Dad a great sense of fulfillment in his final years.
Dad also loved his visits to Larry in Fort Frances, Ont., where he got to enjoy the lake and walleye suppers at the Rendez-Vous.
Dad will be remembered fondly by his three sons, Larry of Fort Frances, Ont., Brian of Sussex, N.B., and Don of Brandon, Man.; his daughter-in-law, Elizabeth; his cherished grandchildren, Joseph, Patrick, Colin, Michael, and Mary Kate; as well as all surviving members of the Phillips, Kelleher, and McMahon families and a special niece, Elizabeth Brand and her children.
Dad’s remarkable personality and love of people left a great impression on his clients and inspired his devoted staff. The good humour and companionship he found in his work carried Dad throughout his tremendously long business career.
The sense of goodwill created at his workplace, along with the love of his family and faith in his church, ensured that Gordon Phillips passed away confident that he lived a good and full life.
Cremation has taken place.
A service was held Friday, Oct. 15, 2010 at St. Augustine’s Roman Catholic Church.
We ask that any donations be made to the Canadian Diabetes Association, 727B-10th Street, Brandon, Man., R7A 4G7 or to a charity of your choice.
Messages of condolence may be offered at www.brockiedonovan.com