It seems an impossible task to put into a few words the man, Phill Stretten.
He was a mischievous smiler, a quiet listener, an avid reader, a tea drinker, a river walker, a forest hiker, a music lover, a chocolate sneaker, a kitchen dancer, a pizza maker, a world traveller, a thoughtful dresser, a hacky sacker, a stick thrower, a lego builder, a collaborative doodler, a dish washer, a witty 1-line deliverer, a jewellery gifter, an easy-to-please eater, a beer sipper, a soccer watcher, a footy player, a Liverpool supporter, a meticulous worker, a thrifty shopper, a curious birder, a frog charmer, a fire starter, a fort designer, a snowflake maker, a hammock hanger, a boat rower, a sentimental collector, a child whisperer, a cheeky giggler, a details photographer… an artist, craftsman and creator.
He was a home builder. A friend steadier. A loyal son and a compassionate brother.
A giving and gentle partner.
A loving and present father.
And this is where we pause. Phill’s greatest gifts were shared as an extraordinary dad. It was his most important role in life and he knew it, and he lived and practiced it fully. He nurtured three boys’ lives with care, honesty, patience, silliness and love. His boys are “the best thing we ever did” and they will miss him beyond expression.
Phill is loved deeply by his partner of 18 years, Claire and his three boys Oliver, Sam and Robin together with Robin’s mother Amanda; his parents Colin and Ann; his sisters Clare (John), Elaine (Kevin), and Karen (Rick); his brother-in-law Chris (Melissa); his nieces and nephews Sarah, Devon, Kayla, Ryan, Corbin, Avery and Harrison. Phill also has a vast community of friends and family - children and adults - who love him dearly and who are heartbroken by this loss.
The world makes no sense today because we all deserved so much more of him, and he us.
I felt awe before the miracle
of the good man
who left love in his wake
like phosphorescence, the father
worth the cut and shine of tears.
- Karen Connelly
Phill’s life will be honoured during a gathering at the Arboretum Centre at the University of Guelph on March 3, 2019, 1-4PM. In lieu of flowers or other offerings, please consider supporting this fund for Claire and Phill’s boys.