Philip F. Canniff, retired Deputy Fire Chief for the Town of Arlington passed away on Saturday afternoon, March 30 with his family at his bedside. He was 76 years old. Phil was born in Cambridge, the son of the late Daniel and Mary Canniff. He attended St. Agnes Grammar School and St. John's Catholic High School. He served in the Army during the Vietnam Era as a Private First Class. He returned home to Arlington and worked first for the Arlington Department of Public Works for a year, then the Arlington Police Department for 7 years, and then 23 years in the Arlington Fire Department. He was the Deputy Fire Chief in Arlington for the later part of his career. In his retirement years, he spent 17 years driving the Senior Van for the Arlington Senior Citizens. Phil was very proud to have served his country in the military as well as the residents of Arlington. He truly felt it was an honor and privilege to be member of the Arlington Police and Fire Departments. Phil continued his support of the U.S. Military as a member of the Arlington Disabled American Veterans Post 49 and the Arlington American Legion. He was a member of the Firemen's Relief Association and the Arlington Knights of Columbus. He was a very active member of the Arlington Kiwanis Club where he was a Past President and Past Lieutenant Governor for Division 14. He was a longtime parishioner of St. Eulalia's Church and as a Eucharistic minister visited the homebound. Phil had an incredible work ethic and resolutely believed in giving of himself to his family, community and church. Phil was always on the go. He loved to work and never could sit idle. He also loved working in his garden and around his home and yard. He worked hard to provide for his family and was an incredible role model to all his children and grandchildren. He was lovingly called "Mickey" by all his 16 grandchildren. He was blessed to be a part of their lives growing up and he supported his grandchildren in all their sports, interests, and activities. Phil will be remembered for his unyielding devotion to his family, dry and perceptive wit, proud service, and his willingness to give of himself to others. Phil was the loving husband of Donna L. (Kelley-McDonnell) of Burlington and the late Anne Louise (Fitzgerald). He was the loving father of Philip, Jr. & his wife Loraine of Burlington, Brian & his wife Shirley of Arlington, Shawn of NC, KerryAnne Diehl & her husband Christopher of Dedham, Kevin & his wife Karla of Arlington, and Andrew of Billerica and stepfather of Kelly Standel of N. Reading, Patrick McDonnell & his wife Sheila of Melrose, and Brian McDonnell & his fiance Sylvia Kirsch of Medfield. He was the brother of Donald of Arlington, Mary Clark of Arlington, the late Robert, Richard, Ralph, and Wesley. He was also survived by 16 grandchildren, 1 great grandchild, many nieces, nephews, and friends. Funeral from the Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home, 43 Winn St., BURLINGTON (exit 34 off Rt. 128/95, Woburn side) on Wednesday, April 3 at 8:45 a.m. Followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Eulalia's Church, 50 Ridge St., Winchester at 10 a.m. Visiting hours on Tuesday from 4-8 p.m. Interment in Pine Haven Cemetery, Burlington. Memorials in Phil's name may be made to a charity of one's own choice. For directions, obituary & online guest book see www.sullivanfuneralhome.net or www.st_eulalia.homestead.com
The Guest Book is expired.
Published in The Arlington Advocate from Apr. 1 to Apr. 8, 2013