Flying Phill Obituary, Death – We are saddened by the news that Flying Phill died away over the weekend. Everyone will miss him since he was a great neighbor and his infectious smile.
He was well known for moving quickly and joyfully across the neighborhood, waving and grinning at everyone he saw. According to Parksville Mayor Doug O’Brien, the flag of the City of Parksville has been flown at half-staff in memory of a legendary individual.
He usually had that wide smile on his face, O’Brien noted. Of course, his favorite thing was when delivery trucks drove by him in the city and honked their horns when they saw him. For many years, people have remembered St. Luke. Lissa Alexander was reared by parents who were familiar with St. Luke in Parksville. She added, “We’d honk and wave at him every time we passed him on the side of the road.” He would always smile and wave in return.
Once Alexander started driving, she made it a point to honk and wave whenever she passed him. We’ve continued to do it with my kids, Alexander said. They had the chance to chat with him because we had seen him about town over the years. O’Brien remembers St. Luke thumping his drum and smiled brightly as he led the Canada Day Parade in Parksville for many years. At future parades, he will be sorely missed, according to O’Brien.
St. Luke loved sports, and he frequently played softball and played curling in the local park. His Special Olympics softball coach for a spell was O’Brien. Every time St. Luke touched the bat, the team would make fun of him by telling him that if he hit a ball off the roof of the Dairy Queen on Highway 19A, everyone would get ice cream. O’Brien remembers St. Luke as being courteous, giving, and a great teammate, adding, “I can tell you Phil tried for that Dairy Queen, he came extremely close a lot of times.”
When Alexander was a reporter with PQB News, he frequently visited the location on Middleton Avenue. She recalled that when whistling came from the street, everyone in the office would be sitting. Then, as we all gave one another a fleeting glance, we would exclaim, “Here comes Phil!” St. Luke would stop over and visit everyone in the different sections.
Alexander is employed for the Society of Organized Services in Parksville at the moment (SOS). St. Luke made a point of visiting the office and thrift shop frequently during his 20 years of work with SOS. He just made everyone’s day better every time you saw him, according to Alexander. St. Luke volunteered his time for a number of neighborhood projects, such as food drives for the Salvation Army, SPCA, Downtown Cleaning Crew, and fire department. The St. Luke’s family announced on social media that a memorial ceremony would be held later.