I first met Phil through a friend back when I was an art student at the university in 2011 or so. He was always very supportive, and generous, and the many hours spent in his studio helped me immensely in my craft. Beyond that, Phil was a good friend, and I am very grateful to him for treating me to the occasional meal, or showing me his various projects, or helping me with my projects.
Phil was always so giving. I remember how once he asked what year I was born, and the next Thursday night there was a 25 year old 1986 Bordeaux waiting for me to try. “Happy Birthday!” he said and told me to grab a glass. My birthday was months away and I said, “Phil, this is such a nice bottle!” He replied that, “Whats the point in having them if you don’t drink them?” Phil was always insisting that I try some kind of paper, or some type of pencil… would always try to share everything he had.
I remember one time when we were drawing, and we got so distracted because Phil got on the subject of writing, and was reading a short story that he had composed. There were so many surprises getting to know Phil, and he seemed to be a man comfortable in anything he took an interest in. Building airplanes, working on cars (I was always so jealous of his MG), writing, giving advice, collecting wines, critiquing art, drawing, building machines… there seemed to be no limit to his curiosity and talent.
I am very sorry to hear of his passing, and my deepest sympathies to the family, friends, and community at large. We will all miss him a lot.
P.s. I would like information about the service, thanks
May God bless Phil Dorothy and his family. I am indebted to Phil for his promotion of the arts and friendships. His weekly gatherings full of artists, music, and laughter and his dynamic personality will leave a void in all our lives.
We Greeks say:
May his memory be eternal,
(I would love to receive more information about attending the celebration.)
Phil was our next door neighbor for many years and we will miss him for many, many reasons. He was a good neighbor and friend.
We will miss him calling to see if Tom's whistle could come over (inside joke between Phil and Tom) to help Phil back his trailer into the garage. Also the times he would pull Tom and his tractor out of the mud (because Tom was mowing where he shouldn't have been mowing). I guess we will really miss seeing him walking Chloe and if we were out stopping to chat. As neighbors he was one of the best! He was always there and willing to help. There are so many stories about Phil, but those who knew him probably have lots of stories of their own. So we really don't have to say much more, just we will always remember and miss Phil!
Tom & Patty
Condolences to Phil's family....I worked w/ Phil in Dubuque and then he and I attended Graduate School of Social Work in Iowa City together..During that time he and I drove to Florida for Spring Break in my MG Midget...He was a good mechanic; had his own "Bugeye" Sprite sports car....Phil was a good guy....
Lisa, Sara & Lisa: I got to know your Dad @ Washington Jr. High. We were at each others respective homes numerous times & double-dated a couple times thru H.S. We also worked on Science Fair entries (your Dad 'placed' at State which was held @ UNI). As we went to different schools after graduation from Senior in "66, we lost track but I do have a letter from him in reply to my urging him to attend our 50th Reunion. I did meet up with him one w/e @ ISU & stayed in his dorm room. (1st time I ever saw & used a microwave in "66 or "67) I also visited his parents (your grandparents) when they & my folks all had places @ the same retirement ctr in Dbq (your Dad was in W'loo at the time) . I'm sure he did his best to get you interested in science! Gerald Edgar - former classmate.
I am going to miss drawing together with Phil. I met Phil after both of our wives had passed away in a grief group and Phil invited me to join the Thursday night drawing group at his studio. Joining that group did more to relieve my grief than I could possibly imagine. Now I have a new grief from Phil's passing. Good bye Phil.
I met Phil in 2016 and my life was never the same. He brought with him a deeper understanding of art, writing and poetry and I will be forever grateful. He taught me to look closely and to see clearly. I had never known a man who could “do” things, build things or envision plans to improve anything, either physical or spiritual. He could connect like no other and see truths that others missed. He was a sensitive man who observed with intelligence and had a sharp sense for injustice that few can claim. Phil’s watchword was “authenticity” and that was evident in all he did or created. He was passionate about his work, loyal in his friendships and indefatigable in his quest for joy.
I also never knew anyone who could “out-museum” me until I met Phil. We visited museums in Chicago, Minneapolis, Nashville, St Louis and he entered each new gallery with a sense of wonder and the hope of discovering something new about humanity and our connections to the universe, rounding each corner in anticipation of something real. He delighted in unique interpretations of the world.
The man could talk! I will always treasure memories of endless discussions of his interests and mine. No topic was too complex, too gnarley or too outrageously unanswerable. He was a seeker and a generous listener.
I remember multiple trips to air shows where I got to enjoy his knowledge and love of aviation. When we flew in open biplanes, Phil showed me a new perspective on the world with the wind in his beard and a grin on his face.
We were writing a novel together, now forever unfinished, but that is fitting because Phil never considered his quests to be finished. The last long conversation I had with him, just before hospice, was all about his enthusiastic plans for future projects. Let his legacy be to seize each day as he did, to love our families without limits as he did and to remember every good moment. Many thanks to the Bird House and all compassionate sympathies to those who loved Phil and feel the ache of losing him from this corporeal world.
It has a privilege and a pleasure getting to know Phil over the past few years. Some of my favorite moments with him were when he was creating a new design or engineering a solution for any number of perplexing garden issues, outdoor Christmas lights (with which he became frustrated and threw the lights onto my very tall tree that landed in a ridiculous loop that I may never take down - he made me promise), a shelf in my garage, and the most exquisitely designed lazy kate for plying yarn that I will cherish forever. He asked me to sew milk jug bottoms to the sides of a flap he made to a 2-room outdoor shower tent to access the shower equipment on the outside of his Airstream, and then make a slot for a pool noodle to fit into the flap to hold it in place on magnetic hooks on the side of the camper. I teased him a bit about his design being less like a Macgyver-inspired solution than a Red Green solution. However, it worked beautifully.
It was an honor to be able to work in Cheryl's gardens to bring them back to at least a small amount of their previous glory, and it was worth the poison ivy and small cuts just to see Phil's joy when he saw plants he loved that he hadn't seen in years. He was particularly fond of his 2 coreopsis plants just outside his front door. They are 2 different shades of yellow, he pointed out several times. He was also very proud of his upside down hanging pots that he used for coleus. It was his inspired solution to the ground squirrels digging up the coleus he had in pots on the porch.
He was thoughtful, kind and caring in spite of being a self-proclaimed curmudgeon. He was a man of inimitable character, and is already sorely missed by his friends and loved ones.
Almost 40 years ago, Phil and I were colleagues in the education system, he as a social worker and I as a high school administrator. And we have remained friends and in touch ever since. I will always remember Phil’s personality as larger than life. He was a complex guy who valued simple things. Phil valued kindness and authenticity in people and he returned those traits in his many friendships . Phil loved his many pursuits which called on his appreciation for art, music, engineering, wine, writing and creative thinking. And he gave himself over to it with courage, enthusiasm and determination. I fondly recall the many ideas and plans he would hurriedly sketch on a table napkin – napkins that were eventually replaced by an omnipresent moleskin note pad in the shirt of his also omnipresent Carhart T-shirt.
Phil’s sense of humor was unique especially his intentional use of malapropisms in our conversations My favorite was co-inkydink in lieu of coincidence. He would often stop mid-sentence if a woman would walk by – a mildly perturbing habit -- until I realized that the artist in him could not keep him from studying the human form, no matter where he was – as evidenced by comments like “Did you see her hands. I’d like to draw those hands,” or “She’s pregnant; she’d be a great model.”
In later years, when Phil decided to “put himself out there”, he asked my opinion of his post on a dating website for older persons. I recall telling him that his profile, while well written, needed to be a little less cerebral – his depth might scare away some good prospects. And the accompanying photo – was, simply awful. Phil in his T-shirt and a pair of gym shorts and scruffy sneakers facing a mirror with his iPhone in his hand. After much whining, he agreed to having me take a few photos – even one with a jacket and a tie. And one with his Panoz roadster as well. I told him women like well-dressed men with fast cars.
There is so much to be said about who Phil was as he touched so many lives. It is said that grief is simply love with no place to go. And he was loved by so many. My sympathy is for all of his family, and too, all of those who feel this loss.
I will miss you dear friend.
We are so sorry to hear about the passing of Phil. He was such a dear person and always had a zest for life. We regret that we had not been able to connect with him recently but thought about him often. He is above us now resting peacefully and catching up with Cheryl for sure. Thoughts and prayers to all of you. Jan and Jim Barnes
I came to know Phil as we were both pursuing a shared belief that life-drawing was fundamental to achieving our independent studio goals. For 15 years we attended life drawing sessions that convened twice weekly at Coe College organized by the Cedar Rapids Drawing Group. Phil's passionate exploration of materials, and evolving use of mark-making in his work were always singular, enthusiastic and often inspiring, generating animated conversations within the group.
It has been a boon to our larger community that Phil went on to establish a life drawing group in Iowa City. Welcoming a circle of dedicated artists and models to his barn adapted for the purpose, Phil fostered an atmosphere of trust and support that nurtured the success and artistic growth of the group. It is a true testament to the strength of his personality and depth of his commitment that this group will continue.
Happily, Phil's family enjoyed and supported his engagement in a varied range of fascinating activities. My deepest sympathy goes out to them in this time of loss.
Thoughts and prayers to all of Phil’s family and loved ones. I met and enjoyed playing pickleball with Phil. Always had a smile and a friendly comment and always a helpful hint to me to better my game. He will be truly missed.
Loved playing pickleball with Phil. Had a wonderful positive attitude, encouraging and funny. He will be sorely missed. Thoughts and prayers to his family.
My husband and I met Phil playing pickleball in North Liberty. Both of us really enjoyed playing with him because we were guaranteed to have fun. Phil had a great personality and was kind and caring to all. Phil will be greatly missed by many!
Randy and Jean Ann James
Such a fun guy. Always had a smile and was kind
Phil was the kind of pickle ball player you enjoyed partnering with in a game. He was always a happy go lucky guy. He will definitely be missed. The pickleball community will feel his absence. Thoughts and prayers go to his family at this time. I am so glad he was able to be at the Bird House, started by a very dear friend of mine. She would be happy that the Bird House was there to help with his needs and the needs of his family.
Phil was one of the first guys I played pickleball with. He was so patient kind and funny. I remember his high lob serves. He will be missed.
We met Phil in pickle ball at the North Liberty rec center. He was larger than life and loved hitting the hell out of that ball. What a memorable and warm character. Well miss him. Maureen and Joel Moeller
I met Phil a couple of years ago on the Pickle ball court. What a great guy, He was always a real hoot to be around.
He will be missed. RIP Phil.
Phil was one of my very first pickleball friends. He always enjoyed making a good joke while reaching. He was so thoughtful and I loved hearing his stories about his wife, daughters and grandchildren. He shared his live of airplanes with our son and gave us a full tour and history lessons on all his passions. I will greatly miss his laugh and playing pickleball with him. He was a true gem and I am thankful to have had Phil as a friend. Blessings to you all, Colleen Altman
2720 Muscatine Ave.
Iowa City, Iowa
319-338-1132 or 1-866-338-1132
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