It is with a broken heart that we announce the passing of our beloved son, brother, and friend Philip Koester on April 13, 2023. Phil is predeceased, by his father Robert in 2022. Phil is survived by his mother Alice, brother James Koester his partner Majid Khoury, sister Laura Koester and her partner Paul Lopez and many lifelong friends.
Phil was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba on April 30, 1962. He only spent a short time in Manitoba before the family moved to Cold Lake, Alberta. Growing up with a father who was in the Air force he travelled around spending 5 years in Germany before returning to Canada where the family lived in Comox on Vancouver Island.
Phil was the oldest of three children, he spoke often to his mom about wanting a baby brother, he was four when his brother James was born, he demanded he see his baby brother and be the one to carry him home. When he was five his sister Laura was born, when it was time to bring her home, he grabbed his boots and coat and insisted that he go get her, when they arrived at the office Phil stated “I have come to get my baby sister.” He had an unshakeable bond with both his siblings. Every photo they had growing up he would be squeezing them tight around their shoulders. He spent a great deal of time with Laura at the PNE playing games and having a blast. He always looked out for his baby sister. His fun loving and protective nature earned him the nickname Father Phil.
When Phil was young his mom would hold him and dance around, he would squirm in her arms to be put down and she would say “just a little more”, when Phil was older and much taller than Alice he would come upstairs in the kitchen and grab his mom and dance around while Alice said I have to get supper ready he would copy her soft words “just a little more mom.”
He spent his younger years playing all kinds of sports his favourite was Hockey. He was an athlete to his core. In his late teens he ended up in a wheelchair, that did not stop him from enjoying his life, he went on to travel to California, Hawaii, Australia, and Japan where he played Wheelchair tennis for Canada. A very serious loyal Canucks fan, win or lose he was a fan he attended his first game in 1975.
He was adventurous, Phil and a group of friends decided to go Skydiving one day they had a bet that who ever did not go had to pay the rest of the group, $500.00 each. He called his mom and told her what he had done he said he had never been more scared in his entire life, followed by “turn on the News we are on TV for the Jump.” He never let his mom forget that she told him he was insane for doing that.
Early on life Phil spoke to high school students about the dangers of drinking and driving.
Phil had a wonderful sense of humour, he was kind, gentle, and had a no fuss no muss attitude. He never complained he just went with the flow. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him.
Phil was a huge supporter of animals; the family would like to ask in lieu of flowers please consider a donation in Phils name to a local SPCA or Animal Rescue.