Phillip Joseph Neighbors passed away February 7, 2014 surrounded by family. He was born October 1, 1960 in Everett and lived his entire life in the Lake Stevens area. Born with Down Syndrome, Phil lived much of his life with his parents and after their passing, with the family of his sister, Susan. He dearly loved his parents, siblings, nephews, nieces, and friends and had a positive, inspiring influence on everyone he met. He always greeted you with a smile and laughter and could even coax smiles and greetings from complete strangers he met in public. The loving, friendly, accepting nature that Phil exhibited, and which is so characteristic of people with Down Syndrome, helped him throughout life to be accepted, loved, and cherished. These people are shining examples of how we can live our lives, showing acceptance and tolerance and treating others with love and respect; actually making the world a better place. Phil was a participant for many years in the Special Olympics games, winning medals in basketball and severeal track events. He was always excited to participate and enjoyed the experience wherever he placed in competition, although he had a huge collection of medals testifying to his excellence. Phil also was a big fan of television soap operas, watching with his mom for many years. He would often give you an update on what was happening on their shows when you came to visit. Family gatherings, holidays, parties, picnics, and the like were also favorite times for Phil. His childlike nature also made him a favorite playmate for his many nieces and nephews and they all have fond memories of growing up around Uncle Phil. He leaves behind many fond memories for all who knew and loved him. Phil is preceded in death by his parents, Mary and Alex Neighbors and a nephew, Alex Neighbors III. He leaves behind three sisters, Mary Riedesel, Shirley Kennedy, and Susan Johnson; five brothers, Alex, Glenn, Gary, Mark, and William Neighbors; several nieces and nephews, and many friends. A memorial service as a celebration of his life is being planned and will be announced to family and friends.
Published in The Herald (Everett) on Feb. 11, 2014