Thursday, March 29, 2007

Saying Goodbye

Thank you to everyone for your thoughts and prayers. I know they made a difference.

My dad passed away on Saturday morning, March 24th. Today we celebrated his life at a funeral mass, and laid him to rest at Fairview Cemetary. The wonderful thing about that is my dad's lifelong passion for all things Titanic. Fairview is where many of the Titanic passengers are buried. There's no better resting place for Dad than that.

I'll be more recovered in a few days. For now I'll share his obituary which appeared in Tuesday's paper.

PHILLIPS, Norman John Paul - 65, passed away Saturday, March 24, 2007, in the VG Site, QEII, Halifax, surrounded by his family. Born on December 29, 1941, in Campbellton, N.B., he was a son of the late Gabriel and Viola (Rattie) Phillips. Gregarious, fun loving and always happy to help, Norman leaves behind a family who knew how much he loved them and a wide circle of friends. He began his working life as a car mechanic and never lost his appreciation for cars. He used his varied skills during his 1960s tour of duty with the US Army, 2nd and 3rd Armored Division which he joined while living in Michigan. He taught soldiers to drive "deuce & 1/2" and five ton trucks in Germany, and served as a French-English translator while in France. Upon returning to Canada, Norman combined his passion for scuba diving with his mechanic skills, repairing scuba gear until he opened his own shop, Scotia Scuba and taught certified scuba diving. A car salesman for many years, Norman enjoyed meeting people, his most recent position being with the Commissionaires, shepherding cruise ship tourists at Pier 21. He was an avid photographer, a knowledgeable music lover, an agile jive dancer, and as always a Montreal Canadiens fan. His greatest joys were the smiles he saw on his loved ones faces. Norman is survived by his loving wife, Doris (Edh); daughters, Julia (Brad) and Michelle (Newt); stepchildren, Carla (Tom), Oregon; Brent, Oklahoma; Tony (Tracy), Calgary; Rhonda, Dartmouth; first wife, Paulette; sister, Loretta (Tim), Michigan. He was predeceased by sisters, Hughette and Suzanne; brother, Maurice. A celebration of his life will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday in St. Agnes Church, corner of Chebucto and Mumford Roads, Halifax, Father Williams officiating. Reception to follow in the church hall. Cremation has taken place under the care of Cole Harbour Funeral Home (462-5601.) Donations may be made to QEII Health Sciences Centre Palliative Care Department.
"God saw you getting tired and a cure was not to be. So He put His arms around you and whispered, "Come to me".
With tearful eyes we watched you, and saw you pass away.
Although we loved you dearly, we could not make you stay.
A golden heart stopped beating, hard-working hands at rest.
God broke our hearts to prove to us He only takes the best."


annette said...

Again, I'm so sorry, Julia. I've been thinking about you and your family a lot this week.

It sounds like your dad loved life and made the most of it. I'm glad you have lots of wonderful memories to help comfort you in the coming years.

Kailana said...

I am very sorry to hear about your father. How wonderful he got to be buried in Fairview, though.

Annie Mac said...

Your Dad sounds like an interesting guy. Hope you are finding some comfort this week.

julia said...

Thank you for all your concern. It feels very comforting, truly.

The whole experience has been quite amazing. Though it centered on loss, my whole family has gone through a transformation. For all of us, it's opened us up to a deeper spiritual understanding.

Kelly said...

When I was reading your Dad's obituary I couldn't stop thinking about what a varied and wonderful life he had. And with a family who loved him by his side. That sounds like a very rich life indeed.