Age 60, of Elk River. Passed away on September 8, 2020, after a brief and aggressive illness caused by glioblastoma.
Phil will be remembered so fondly as a big-hearted, kind, loving, witty, honest, and dependable friend to all. He was hard-working, conscientious, and could figure out how to fix, assemble, or install just about anything. He was thoughtful and considerate, but that probably let people take advantage of him at times. He was tireless in his love, care and support of his parents as they aged and required more attention. Yet, for some reason, he was hard on himself— finding it difficult to accept the value and worth his family and friends placed on him. He was a humble man, and did not like to be the center of attention.
Phil was always very approachable - laid back and easy to talk to. Even with kids - the nieces and nephews all called him their favorite uncle - at family gatherings you’d often find Phil playing with the kids at their level. Once he and Cookie married, her daughters and grandkids came with the package - and those little ones really enjoyed him too. Always willing to lend a hand to just about anyone, he was generous with his time, but expected the same of everyone else as well.
Most people knew Phil was a sports enthusiast - especially hockey, baseball, and golf. But he was also a nature-lover, and relished being outdoors, enjoying many years of hunting and fishing, back-yard BBQ’s and flower gardening. He enjoyed cooking, in general, and his pizza dough skills are almost legendary. His “Leftsider Pizza” creation is still on the menu at the local Sunshine Depot.
He was fascinated by bird-watching - especially the eagles and orioles at Bailey’s Point and enjoyed sharing what he had learned with others. Fishing brought him the most joy over the last several years, but he would consider meeting and marrying Cookie to be his greatest “catch”.
Phil is survived by his wife, Cookie, three step-daughters, Lane (Brad) Rossiter, Windsong Todd (Don Parson), and Cora (Nate) Kojetin, grandchildren Max, Mason, Aubri, Brandon, Hailey & Justin. Also survived by siblings Paula (Tim) Hayes, Greg (Dalona), Dave (Julie), Charlie (Stacey), and Theresa (Gene) Zerwas, nieces and nephews, and many other relatives and countless friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Wally and Peg Houle.
No public services have been scheduled due to the on-going coronavirus restrictions. Raise a “cold one” in his honor, and remember him with love and affection.
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