June 28, 1930 - July 18, 2023
In Loving Memory ~
Jerry passed peacefully at Glacier View Lodge in Comox during the wee hours of the morning, with family at his bedside.
Born at the crest of the depression, Jerry spent his early years as a cannery kid at the historic North Pacific Cannery. Living with his parents Oli and Karla and older brother Keith, Jerry developed a love of fishing, a lifetime of stories, and a wealth of practical knowledge of the sea.
His formative years were marked by the camaraderie and community that made life in this remote, weather-beaten settlement on the shores of the Skeena not only possible, but remarkably memorable. Jerry's many colourful accounts of life in this vibrant and diverse setting captivated friends and family and cemented his reputation as a story teller.
Jerry's most formative childhood experience was that of attending a one room school house for his early education. This curious, intelligent young boy loved to learn with the older kids, and when he eventually shifted to a "proper school" in Vancouver, where his mother felt he and Keith would get a better education, he was advanced by two grades. Jerry would often credit his cannery schooling with his ability to learn independently. He was, by his own account, a reserved student who managed, with no credit to his own efforts, to finish high school and enroll at UBC.
Thinking he'd pursue fisheries management like his dad, Jerry's fortunes changed when a friend suggested he apply to medical school. It was a surprise to all, including himself, that he was accepted, and eventually excelled in UBC's third-ever medical class.
It was during Jerry's UBC years that he me tAnne, who would become his wife of 67 years. After completing his internship in 1957, and with two small children in tow, Jerry and Anne moved to Chemainus where they welcomed their third child and established a long, rewarding life in this thriving mill town.
Jerry began his medical career when he joined Dr. Dick and Dr. Heydon; Dr. Fenton would join the practice soon after, forming a partnership that lasted nearly five decades. Between them, Drs. Heydon, Philippson and Fenton welcomed babies, performed surgeries, set broken bones and attended countless housecalls in the Chemainus-Crofton area. It was a booming time, and Jerry and Anne participated fully in the many social and cultural activities that "Chemaniacs" enjoyed.
Jerry often expressed how honoured he was to serve his patients, sometimes at their hours of greatest need. And, over his lifetime in Chemainus, he contributed to the social wellbeing of his much-loved town. He sat as a member of the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, and the Chemainus Mural Society, and served on the school board of the Chemainus-Ladysmith School District and, after amalgamation, the Cowichan School District.
Jerry enjoyed gardening, boating, fishing, golfing, woodworking and, most of all, he was a voracious reader. In 2016 he and Anne relocated to Comox where they soon became known for their hospitality and friendship.
After Anne passed in 2021 Jerry moved to Glacier View Lodge where, again, he won the hearts of many.
Jerry is survived by Dan, Karla, Jay and their spouses, 12 grandchildren and 11 greatgrandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donations in his honour to the charity that is most meaningful to you.