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Philip R. Lawler a resident of Naperville Visitation for Philip Lawler, 60, will be from 3 to 8 p.m., with a Rosary at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 29, at St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church, 2220 Lisson Road, Naperville, IL 60565. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Friday, April 30, at St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church. Interment will follow in Naperville Cemetery, Naperville. On April 23, 2010, Philip R. Lawler passed away at his home in Naperville, with his family surrounding him. Phil will be remembered as a great husband, father, respected educator, coach and great communicator. Philip Lawler was born on Feb. 18, 1950, in Carroll, Iowa. He graduated from Wall Lake High School in Wall Lake, Iowa in 1968. Phil graduated from Buena Vista College in Storm Lake, Iowa in 1972. He later received his master's degree in education from Northern Illinois University. While attending Buena Vista, Phil met his wife, Denise Mascari, who also graduated from Buena Vista College. They were married Aug. 11, 1973. After college Phil taught in Iowa for three years. In 1976, he joined Naperville School District 203 as a physical education instructor at Madison Junior High School. In the 29 years Phil taught at Madison Junior High School, he went from being a "gym teacher" to a world renowned advocate of a fitness for life program that was developed and implemented at Madison. This new physical education program was recognized as one of six model P.E. programs by the Center of Disease Control and Prevention. In USA Today 2002, Phil was selected as a member of the First Team All American teaching Team. Uniquely, Phil was the first P.E. teacher ever selected on the USA Today First Team. Phil's "New P.E." philosophy and hard work led to the beginning of the PE4Life organization. He quickly established a PE4Life training institute at Madison Junior High School, where he has since trained over 1700 educators, administrators and community leaders from 42 states and 10 countries. Phil's passion for spreading the message of healthy kids, families and community has reached over 2400 schools and has affected more than 2 million children. Phil also worked as the Naperville District Coordinator of Physical Education from 1985 until 2003. In this capacity, he and his friend, Paul Zientarski, established the DuPage County Institute for Physical Education Teachers that included speakers from throughout the country and had more than 2000 in attendance yearly. Phil's commitment to improving physical education never went unnoticed. Phil was very pleased when the Naperville Junior High community of parents and students rated the new physical education curriculum the number one curriculum above all academic subjects. Parents realized the program increased results in all academic areas and Naperville began to set the standard for physical education across the country. Phil's inspiration and dedication to physical education was equally matched by his love for baseball. Phil was an assistant head coach for over 30 years at Naperville Central High School under head coach Bill Seiple. As best friends they had many winnings seasons, highlighted by their 2006 Illinois State Championship. Phil was recognized for his achievements in baseball in 1999. He was the first assistant high school baseball coach inducted into the Illinois High School Coaches Hall of Fame. In 2009, he was again recognized by the association by honoring him with the President's Award for his contributions to Illinois high school baseball. On May 9, 2010, Phil Lawler's number 29 was retired at Naperville Central's Varsity Field. Phil's life is summed up best by a fellow District 203 educator, "I know your spirit will live on in everyone who knows and loves you. Your positive impact, like a ripple in a pond, on thousands of students, teachers, administrators and unnamed others on this planet earth." With all his passion for his work, his first passion and love was for his family. Phil is survived by his loving wife of 36 years, Denise Lawler; and his children, Scott and Kim Lawler, Vince and Kim Marino, and Todd and Kathryn Lawler. He is also survived by his brothers and sisters, Pat and Sue Lawler, Dick and Jo Lynch, Maureen Lawler, Dan and Fern Lawler, and Jim and Trish Lawler. Phil was also blessed with five grandchildren, Lucas Lawler, Alexa Lawler, Brady Marino, Hawke Lawler and Tucker Lawler. Memorial contributions can be made to Naperville Central Booster Club for baseball. Arrangements where handled by Friedrich-Jones Funeral Home, 44 S. Mill St., Naperville, IL 60540, 630-355-0213 or

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Published in Daily Herald on Apr. 27, 2010.
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13 entries
May 6, 2010
He will be missed and his legacy will live on. Phil gave so much to the field of Physical Education and much more. Thanks for being the voice Phil!
Maureen Bond
May 1, 2010
coach scott, i didn't know your dad personally but i do know that he shines through in you. his children will become his greatest legacy-----carry the torch proudly! thanks for all your help with our team. you and your family are in our prayers.
coach bob stephen
bob stephen
May 1, 2010
To Denise and the entire Lawler family,
WeI were very sad to have heard of Phil's passing. He was truly a terrific person and I know he will be greatly missed.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Ed & Lois Friedrich, Woburn, MA
Ray Friedrich, Springfield, MO
April 29, 2010
I will be eternally grateful for the interest that Phil took in my son Matthew and it enabled him to reach his potential. Phil did this kind of thing for all the young men who crossed his path. He will be so greatly missed but all those values he passed on will be treasured always.
Susan Erion, Paw Paw MI.
April 28, 2010
Dear Lawler's,

I never met Phil, never attended any of his classes, but was truly impacted by the passion he gave his profession. He, along with Paul, have always been role models I have looked up to in this profession. My deepest sympathies.

Jeff Grotenhuis
Kewaskum, WI
Jeff Grotenhuis
April 27, 2010
Dear Denise & family. Our prayers are with you at this difficult time. We have so many great memories of Phil and how he influenced our sons in the baseball program at NCHS. He always was upbeat with his players and was such a great role model for Brian and Stephen. The world was surely blessed with Phil in it and The Lord has welcomed him home never to suffer anymore. He will be greatly missed.
Mary & Jim Dieke
April 27, 2010
It is a thrill to read about the example Phil Lawler lived for all to see. We are blessed by his courage. The effect of his life will continue to change the health of our country, and many other countries.
Our prayer is for comfort for his wife , family ane many many friends

Jan Muetzel
April 27, 2010
To Phil's family & friends,

What an inspiration Phil was to all of us who knew, admired, and loved him! We are all better for having known him. Our sincere condolences to Mrs. Lawler and the rest of the family!

Mary Lou Torrison & Sandy Wolfrum
American Heart Association
April 27, 2010
To the Lawler Family,
We were deeply saddened to hear of Phil's passing. He was a great educator and coach and he will be missed by so many. Our son played baseball at NCHS and was coached by Phil. He not only taught those boys how to be better players, he taught them to be winners off the field. They witnessed his courage and fortitude during his battle with cancer. He was often tired from treatment, but was at the field to work with them and to cheer them on from the bench. The players were aware of the strength that it took to be there with them and they learned about fighting through adversity through his example. I am sure all that knew him or worked with him have similiar stories to tell. Phil was someone who truly cared, and he lived his life showing that to others.
May all of your memories, and the memories that others share with you, be of comfort to your family.
Diane,Brian,Brandon & Colin Bates
April 27, 2010
Dear Lawler Family,
With a Graduate from Naperville Central High School. I remember Mr. Lawler as a teacher. May many prayers go out to your family in this time of lost.
Shannon Speck
April 27, 2010
To the Lawler Family,

Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. Phil was a wonderful coach to our boys in High School. He was a great role model.
Sue and Fred Winborne
April 27, 2010
We are deeply saddened to hear of the loss of Phil. He was such a kind gentle man with a smile that light up the room. He will forever live on in our hearts. Our deepest Condolences to you Aunt Denise and all the family members. We are all here to support you in this difficult time.
The Denes' family
Jennifer Denes
April 27, 2010
There are a few transcendent people that grace, and have graced, our planet Earth. My Uncle Phil was one of those people. What a great, great Man. And now he just travels on to another leg of The Journey.

He will be missed, but most assuredly will do many more great things in his next phase.

Very much Love, and Peace, to my beautiful Aunt Denise.

And my thoughts, and Prayers go to my cousins Todd, Scott and Kim.

You all (and your spouses) are exceedingly bright, and beautiful.

God Bless you all,

peter m. mascari
peter mascari
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