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Robert Phillips

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Robert John Phillips

August 15, 1958 - February 9, 2012


Robert John Phillips the 5th, was a fine measure of a man. John was born in Saint John New Brunswick on August 15, 1958. He passed away unexpectedly in Melaque, Mexico on February 9, 2012. John grew up in New Brunswick and graduated in 1976 from Simonds High School. At Johnny”s first job he worked as a milk man from 1977 – 78. Then John relocated to Calgary, Alberta. He spent the next few years getting his pipe fitters ticket and graduated at the top of his class. Mr. Man, (as Mo called him)met his Maureen in 1982 and after one year they moved to Surrey British Columbia. John started John Phillips Mechanical, and later Protection Sprinklers with Tim McLellan in Surrey, where they lived until 1996.

They moved to Ymir and purchased The Ymir Hotel with good friends and ran that until they sold it in 2005. John”s love of all his friends in the Kootenay”s helped them make the decision to move. Many, many good times and lot’s of laughs in those 9 years. There is still evidence of Johnny’s burn outs in the Hotel. At the same time John established Kootenay Sprinkler Installations. Johns” professionalism was reflected in his work. He was highly respected in the industry and very much loved by all his employees.

John is survived by his wife Maureen, son Jason (Heidi), Grandsons Riley John and Blake. Mother Carol, Brothers Al (Mim), Doug, Steve (Diane). Sisters Lorraine and Margaret. Uncle Gary (Sue), Aunt Bunny, Aunt Dodie and all his many, many aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his father Robert Phillips, Grandparents Robert and Margarette Phillips, and Theodore and Margorie Jones. John”s family was very important to him, and he was devoted to each and every one of them. Being from a large family, John always said you had to be quick to the dinner table in the Phillips household.

John was a very charitable and generous man and took every opportunity to help others. Nothing was too much, whatever people needed, he found a way. Whether it be tipping, lending, buying or just supporting friends and family he could ALWAYS be counted on. We all remember him for his stories, jokes, big laugh and grin. People wanted to be around our John.

His grandchildren got the full benefit of a perfect “Pa Pa” He made sure they had all the opportunities possible, Hockey, swimming, music, whatever they wanted. Teaching Riley John to ride his bike was quite an event, after convincing him that it would be much more fun than the Scooter. After 10 minutes of running behind him, John had him riding and loving it. Riley John was so proud of his accomplishment and PaPa John had a grin from ear to ear. Blakes” big adventure at the lake with PaPa was teaching him how to drive the “speedy” boat and learning the “sandwich” song. John and Mo also built the boys an elaborate play fort for the yard where they spent countless hours playing. Those two little boys were the apple of his eye.

After Mo lost her mom, her dad Bob came to live in Ymir with John and Mo. He never had a beard, but grew a bushy white one just like Big John. He loved John and kept their woodstove just pumpin”. Their house was so hot that John and Mo lived in shorts and tank tops, but John never denied Bob putting one more log on the fire.

John bought his first motorcycle in 1980 – a brand new Harley Davidson Shovelhead which earned the nickname “the great punkin” because of its colour. John and Mo”s
love of motorcycling took them to places where they met numerous people, most of whom became long time dear friends. Anyone that rode with our Johnny could count on him to find any hidden back road pub, he called this “taking shortcuts”. John loved an adventure and lots of us were lucky enough to be along for the ride with John and Mo on many of these. I know a lot of people have a lot of stories and cherished memories. Some of his shortcuts turned in long adventures, his friend Wimpy christened him with the name “Scout” after one such fork in the road.

Johnny taught Mo to ride a long time ago, and since then they have put on countless miles. Each trip was an adventure, and in their life together, they enjoyed each day and laughed more than most people dream of. Anywhere they stopped, John would INSIST that Mo get up and sing. He always loved to hear her voice, and would always tell people “you”ve got to hear my Maureen” Johnny fancied himself somewhat of a crooner, being known to his friends as “Johnny Kristofferson”…his favirite musical artist.

John was a FAST, HARD Riding Guy – putting on lots of miles, he loved to ride to different places, and meet new people. Trips to Daytona Beach to hook up with the crew there, seeing the guys from New York, Louisiana, Texas and Florida was important to John. Annual trips to Kim and Deb”s to party with all the Albertans, and any Fast Truck or Ugly”s rallies were priorities to John. The southern trips introduced the Canadians to Deep Fried Turkey”s. This brought the deep fried turkey recipe all the way from Louisiana to Western Canada. Of all the places he visited, and all the foods he ate, he never developed a taste for Perogies, he called them, “Gooey Little Dough Balls”, even those from Mo”s family in Saskatchewan.

John introduced a lot of people to Smokin Hot Chicken Wings! Every payday, John would invite all his crew over for Wings and Beer so he didn”t have to go to all the job sites to pay everybody. On every Chicken Wing Payday… everyone showed up for work! John and Grant drank more dark beer and cooked more deep fried turkeys than any of us know, and “That”s a Fact!”

Johnny was also famous for his Jo Jo”s. Every Fast truck party had a line up for Johnny”s Jo Jo”s, Wings, and, of course, his exuberant personality. In the early years he would pull up with a Coleman Stove tied on the back of his bike with a pot, oil and chicken wings. He would setup shop and feed everyone, and from there it just expanded to what we know now.

He embraced Ymir winter living, learning to skate – or to Stop – as he put it, and also learned to snowmobile. He enjoyed sledding up to the Paddy Shack with Eric where they often raced to the top to share a beer, a stogie and a laugh. Overnight sledding trips with George was also an adventure for the two of them.

Johnny was a man of character….and a character of a man. Some of Johnny”s famous words…”I”d shut right up, if someone would bring me a beer” (we knew that wouldn”t happen), “you worries too much b”y”, “I”ll have one if Frank has one”, “Ieeeeee”, “How you doing kiddo”, “teeheehee”, “Olewhatsername”, “My Maureen”, “What”s a guy gotta do to get a drink in this desert”, “Come in fast cause that”s how you”re going out”, and “go on git” are some of his “Johnnyisms”!!

As well as motorcycling, Johnny and Mo enjoyed several exotic locations, traveling by cruise ships, planes, airboats, catamaran, and even parasailing. Sailing with Gary and Maria was always a highlight and John looked forward to their next sail together. From rolling the dice in Vegas, to riding thousands of miles on their Harley”s, to sledding to the tops of mountains, they did it all.

If the true wealth of a man is his friendships then Johnny was very wealthy. From Vancouver Island to Newfoundland, Washington State to the tip of Florida, John was a very rich man indeed. John was the most caring, generous, and non-judgemantal man. He is a tremendous loss to us all and will be very sadly missed forever.


Send a condolence, light a candle and/or share a memory, click "Send Condolence". Once your message has been approved by the moderator it will be posted to the website.

Pages: 12345

From: Thompson Funeral Service Ltd. Staff

Thompson Funeral Service Ltd. Staff send our condolences to family and friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

From: Christina Laskey
Relation: Cousin

Please know that our hearts are with you. John was a great man and these kind of things just don’t make sense! Lots of Love coming from New Brunswick! XO

From: Anna Laskey
Relation: First cousin

Rest in peace John, gonna miss you lots. You are the Cousin I looked up to and like a brother to me. God bless you!

From: Bill & Edie Squires
Relation: friend



From: Phyllis Ramsey
Relation: Friend

So very sad to see you go. You had a huge heart and an awesome sense of humor. You will be greatly missed by many.

From: Allan & Marg Barron
Relation: friend

Maureen and family,condolences on the passing of John.He lit up the room with his simle!He will be greatley missed.May he rest in peace.Marg &Allan

From: Sharon Haverty "Bootsie"
Relation: He was an amazing friend.

No words can express how sad I feel for Maureen and their whole family over the loss of such a wonderful man. He was always there to help, or tell a joke or just be there. Johnny, I will miss you. Love Bootsie

From: Robb Priske
Relation: close friend

My love and admiration of Johnny knows no bounds. We all grieve for Mo and with her, I will carry this friendship forever and am a better person for having known Johnny and Mo as well as I did.

From: Susan Tasker
Relation: Cousin

Maureen, I am so sorry and cannot express how much John meant to me. He was the most generous and loving person I knew. My heart goes out to you and my prayers. I wish I could be there with you. Much love, Susan

From: Sandy Foster
Relation: very close friend

We will miss the laughter, all the great stories,and most of all we will all miss you so very much!!!

Pages: 12345

Service Schedule

  Funeral Service

Date & Time:
February 18, 2012
Beginning at 1:00pm

Ymir Community Hall

Ymir, BC Canada V0G2K0

Ymir, BC Canada V0G2K0


Date & Time:
February 17, 2012
Beginning at 4:00pm

Chapel of Thompson Funeral Service Ltd.
613 Ward Street
Nelson, BC Canada V1L2T1

613 Ward Street
Nelson, BC Canada V1L2T1

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