It is with profound sadness that the family of Phil Dietrich announces his passing on 28 May 2022 at Rainbow Gardens, after a long battle with vascular dementia. Born in Daysland, Alberta in 1933, the youngest of a blended family of eleven, he was predeceased by his mother Germaine when he was a year old, by his much loved stepmother, Mary in 1972, and by his father, James in 1973. Phil leaves to mourn his passing, Marlene Dietrich (Phillips/Johnston), his beloved wife of 44 years; a large blended family; and the mother of his three children, Shirley (Cherwak/Skyrme); son, Bradley (Carol Thurley; grandsons, Evan Dietrich (Carly) and Neil Thurley; son, Brent (Theresa Check); grandsons, Jon Dietrich (Krystal; great-grandsons, Dante and Grayson; and Carl Dietrich; daughter, Barbara (Bert McDonald; grandchildren, Clayton and Andrea.
The Phillips family joined with the Dietrich family on the union of their parents in 1977 and spent the following years enjoying the many family dinners, work bees, chicken and peacock chasing, trampoline jumping and tree climbing at their home, the Phillips family farm in Cherry Creek. The Phillips family consists of Marlene’s four children and two chosen children and their families. Jacqueline (late Rick) Garcia, her chosen children Dauntaya, Tia and Damon; grandson Russell Garcia (Selean Kitchen), great granddaughters Elissa (Nate Sutherland), great-great granddaughter Persephone; Emma Garcia and Ara Garcia; granddaughter Janeen and her chosen children Aiden, Jordyn and Faith. Son Chuck Phillips, granddaughter Tiffany (deceased), great granddaughter Tristyn; grandson Shawn, great granddaughters Ella, Livia, and Halle; son Mark Phillips, (Sherri Houston); daughter Lianne Phillips (Jim Plant), granddaughter Ashley (Alex Guilbeault), great granddaughter Isobel. Chosen daughters Lee (Horbatch/Charlie), children, Naomi, Kailee and Cole and their families, and Leona (Thom/Hryhorak), her children Sara (Dylan) and her family; and Chelsea; nephew, Darcy and niece, Staci Johnston (Mark Jacobson) and family. He also leaves sister-in-law Johanna and many nieces and nephews in Alberta to mourn his loss.
Moving to BC from the family farm in Heisler, Alberta in the early 1950’s, he worked in house construction and as a plasterer and then at the Powell River paper mill, moving to the Port Alberni mill until he retired in 1992. Phil built and renovated houses in his spare time. He used his many talents by helping at the Volunteer Bureau and assisting in the establishment and maintenance of Abbeyfield Port Alberni in 2002 and continuing for two decades.
Phil was a life-long member of the New Democratic Party, serving on local executives and becoming known as the ‘sign guy’ in every Provincial and Federal election since 1972. His love of his family shone through everything he did, camping with the grandchildren or helping out when needed. Respected by his friends and co-workers, he was unfailingly appreciative, kind, loving, and considerate; a beloved husband, father and Papa, an example to everyone. He will be remembered for his loving heart and beautiful smile. He will be missed beyond words.
Our sincere appreciation and thanks to Dr. Puts and Dr. Smits for their care and consideration, and to the warm and wonderful staff at Rainbow Gardens.
An Open House gathering to celebrate Phil’s life will be held on Sunday, July 31st at the family home in Cherry Creek.
Donations in lieu of flowers to the Abbeyfield Port Alberni Residents Council, 3839 8th Ave., Port Alberni V9Y 8J6