Monday, April 27, 2009

Good Bye Grandpa

Today my grandpa passed away peacefully in his sleep. He was dearly loved and will be greatly missed.

My favorite memory of grandpa involves popcorn and chicken coffee.

When I was a little girl, my sister and I would get to stay overnight at Grandpa and Grandma's house sometimes. We would play with the toys and watch movies on TV. Grandpa always liked to watch the same types of things on TV. Western movies, Bonanza or Little House on the Prairie -- if there was a western movie made, I've probably seen it at Grandpa's house.

So while watching a movie, Grandpa would make a pot of popcorn and Grandma would make some coffee for Grandpa. Of course, Shelly and I wanted to be just like Grandpa and have some coffee too. But little girls weren't allowed to have coffee, of course. So Grandma would let us make "chicken coffee." A mug of hot (lukewarm) water with a chicken bullion cube dissolved in it. Chicken Coffee. I remember being so proud to be old enough to have my own type of coffee just like Grandpa. And even now, when I see someone using those little chicken bullion cubes wrapped in gold foil, I think of my childhood and spending time with Grandpa and Grandma.

What I'll remember most about Grandpa is the huge love he had for Grandma. Every time Grandpa would leave the house for an errand or anything, he'd kiss Grandma good bye - then he'd kiss her again when he got home. Before and after each meal, before bed, upon waking ... I think they invented reasons to kiss. No, not just a little peck either ... a big ol' sloppy kiss that showed the passion they had for each other. The kind of kiss you'd tease someone to "get a room" - the kind of kiss that showed their huge love for each other.

Whenever they were sitting next to each other, they'd be holding hands or Grandpa's hand would be on Grandma's shoulder. They would want to be touching in some way. Their love for each other was always evident throughout the years. I look to them to know that true love can endure the years and can give a person happiness right up until the very last breath you take.

My family asked me to write Grandpa's obituary. I'm including it here:

Beloved husband, father and grandfather, Willard “Buck” Phillips, passed away peacefully on April 27, 2009 at his home in Standish, Michigan at age 85. Buck was born on February 29, 1924 to parents Wilma and Ralph Phillips in Clare, Michigan. On April 2, 1946 he married his sweetheart, Florence Marie Wolfe and they spent 63 happy years together. Buck served from 1943-1946 in the 29th Infantry Division of the U.S. Army in the European Theater during World War II where he earned a CIB Badge, Purple Heart and Bronze Star. He has been an active member of VFW Post 3724, American Legion Post 104, Military Purple Heart Post 2000 and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Buck spent his working years in Two State Oil Fields, Hachelt Stock Yards and L.E. Myers Construction before retiring from the Bay City Chevrolet plant in 1980. Buck is survived by his wife, Florence, and their three daughters: Nancy (Dale) Sanders; Gloria (Neil) Frost and Penny (Lester) Tremble. He is proceeded in death by daughter Sally Kay. He was much adored grandfather to: Pamela Tremble; Shelly (Eric) Grider; Brad (Destiny) Sanders; Neil (Cindy) Frost; Lisa (John) Lacy; Allen (Melissa) Tremble; Brian Frost, Becky Frost and Daniel Tremble (deceased). Great-Grandchildren include: Joshua, Makayla, Austin, Tyler, Aaron, Christian, Alexis, Dakota, Devin, Krista and Jacob. Buck was the oldest of his siblings, who include: Doris Kile (deceased), Larry Siel, Fern Deveneaux, Wilfred Siel, Wilber Siel (deceased), Donna Young, Donald Siel (deceased), Dennis Phillips, Irene Taylor, Ilene Ream, Ronald Phillips, Virgil Phillips (deceased), Betty Watson, Ralph Phillips and Jeanette Phillips (deceased). 

Funeral services will be held at R.O. Savage Funeral Home in Standish on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 11:00 a.m. Visitation will be held from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 30th.


  1. I am so sorry for your loss. The writing is beautiful.

  2. Pam

    I am so sorry for your loss, I will keep you and your family in my prayers. You have such wonderful memories, thanks for sharing

    Pam E

  3. My condolences and prayers are with you, Pam. As long as we have our sweet memories of our loved ones they live in our hearts, and we know they are waiting to greet us just inside that Heavenly Gate.
    Even in our sorrow, we can smile.

  4. Pam - My deepest sympathy for you and your family. He sounds like a very sweet person. May all of the memories (like chicken broth) bring a smile to your face.


  5. I'm sad for you. Your memories of your Grandpa brought back memories of my Dad. I always got a spoonfull of coffee into my milk. That was kid's coffee. We also had popcorn or fudge every Friday night together.You will never truly lose him because he lives on in your heart.

  6. Pam, I was so sorry to hear about your Grandpa. My thoughts are with you and your family. May your wonderful memories sustain you all through this difficut time.


  7. Pam, I will keep you and your family in my prayers.
    You made me smile about the "kissing" that is just how my parents are and my kids their grandchildren always comment to them to "get a room". Those are wonderful memories to have and hold on to. My grandfather was the love of my life he loved everyone unconditionally - it's been 19 years and not a day goes by that I don't think about him and miss him.
    Thanks for sharing your grandfather with us.

  8. A beautiful tribute for a beautiful man. What a blessing to have such a wonderful Grandpa. My deepest sympathy to you and your family. Take extra special care of yourself, Jo

  9. So Sorry Sweety!!! Grandfathers are special. Big Hugs


  10. I am so sorry for your loss.
    OH Horseplay

  11. I'm sorry for your loss, your grandfather sounds like he was a wonderful man.

  12. I'm so sorry you lost your grandparents were the same way. Grandpa missed Grandma so much when she passed. He used to kiss her picture every night. You should sit down and have a cup of chicken coffee. He'd like that.
    Big hug...

  13. I'm very sorry for your loss.

  14. Beautiful Pam, simply beautiful. My heart goes out to you. You'll be in my thoughts :) Erin


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