The whole world feels a little less kind as Mark Gordon "Philly" Phillips was lost to us on Friday, January 13th at the age of 53. Born the third child of Murray and Delores (Bright) Phillips Sr. of Stratford, Mark is also survived by two siblings, Murray (Monica) Jr. and Karen (Len) Scott. In 2016, Mark married Brandi Borman with whom he shared an extraordinary love and life. He adored and was so proud of his children, Natalie (Lodewyk) Koert and Chris "Chrispy" Phillips. In 2021, he became a doting first-time G-pa to the apple of his eye, Nora Belle Koert.
Mark was blessed by the love of many nieces. Nieces by blood: Jessica (Brandon) Palmer, Jenna (Matt) Johns, Jordan (Sean) Craig, and Jamika Scott. Nieces by marriage: Paige and Jorja Borman, and nieces of the heart: Addyson and Rylee (Marty and Patty) Ignor. Mark himself was the much-loved nephew of Dempsey and Sharon (Bright) Smith Sr.
Mark is also survived by his wife's family, Jim and Jackie Borman, Tash and Matt Vernhout, and Dave and Diane Borman. He will be missed by his children's mother, Eleanor (Brouwers) Phillips, and the entire Brouwers family.
In 1992, Mark began to work at his father's store, Sew and Save Centre, and continued the success of the business for another 30 years. He was a recognized Janome and Handi-quilter dealer winning many top Canadian Dealer Awards throughout the years. He was a sought-after sewing machine technician throughout Canada.
Born a Leaf fan, Mark was inspired by Mike Palmateer and his adopted cousin, Curtis Joseph, to become a goalie. He spoke fondly of his days playing Rotary Hockey, with the Mitchell Hawks and dressing for the former Stratford Culliton's. After he hung up the glove and blocker, he went on to coach others, including Chrispy, in the game he loved so much. It would not be unusual when Mark and Brandi were traveling to hear, "Philly, is that you?" from a former player who grew up in Stratford. Through the years, Philly could also be found on the baseball field and the volleyball court. He had a wide circle of friends and could be counted on for a friendly hello, a kind word, and a laugh wherever he went.
Mark's cancer journey began in 2012, but he didn't require ongoing treatment until 2019. He was incredibly grateful that when he required chemotherapy treatment, he could receive it in Stratford General Hospital. As such, it is his wish that expressions of sympathy be made to the Stratford General Hospital Foundation - In Our Hands Campaign for chemotherapy redevelopment at https://sghfoundation.org/In-Our-Hands.htm or contact Brandi, Chris or Natalie to donate at the Team Philly site.
Friends and family are invited to a celebration of Mark's life to be held at the Queen's Inn, 161 Ontario St., Stratford, on Thursday January 19th from 2-4pm and 6-8pm.
In honour of Mark's shortened but beautiful life, we ask that you give a warm hug and say a kind word to someone that you love because that's how he lived every day.