Phillip Philbrook

Philbrook, Rev. Dr. Phillip

Rev. Dr. Phillip Philbrook, 87, passed away on November 10, 2012 at Aurora Hospital in West Allis, Wisconsin. He was born in 1925 in Piqua, Ohio, a small town about 15 miles north of Dayton. As a young man, Phil felt God's strong call to the Christian ministry. Phil attended Ohio State University in Columbus for one year and then entered the Chaplain Training Program with the U.S. Navy during WW II. Phil received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Colgate University in Hamilton, New York and a Bachelor of Divinity Degree from Colgate-Rochester Divinity School in Rochester, New York. He also holds a Masters degree in Counseling from St. Francis College in Ft. Wayne, Indiana and an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Franklin College in Franklin, Indiana.

Phil served as lead pastor at two American Baptist churches in Indiana from 1948 to 1987. He served Meadowbrook Baptist Church in Anderson for 13 years and First Baptist Church in Ft. Wayne for 26 years. Phil married his wife Anna in 1949 and they celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary in August 2012. After retirement from the full time ministry in 1987, Phil and Ann moved to Green Bay, Wisconsin to be closer to family and grandchildren. They were active members of First United Presbyterian Church DePere and moved to Tudor Oaks Retirement Community in Muskego, Wisconsin in March 2011. They were also summer residents at Green Lake Conference Center in Green Lake, Wisconsin for many years.

Rev. Philbrook was a very caring and compassionate pastor who loved and supported the people in the churches that he served and in the communities where he lived. He was affectionately referred to as "Reverend Phil" throughout his time in the ministry. He also had a great sense of humor and was a popular after dinner speaker at various clubs and organizations. Phil was a lifelong active member of the Lions Club and Masonic Lodge where he received the honorary 33rd degree which is the highest level attainable. He was also active in the Green Bay Retired Men's Club.

As a prostate cancer survivor, he was co-founder of the Green Bay Prostate Cancer Support Group.

Phil is survived by his wife Anna of Muskego, Wisconsin; brother Dr. Syd (Rose) Philbrook of La Porte, Indiana; daughter Cindy Finesilver (Alan) of DePere, Wisconsin; son Stephen (Karen) Philbrook of Mahomet, Illinois, three grandchildren, Matthew Finesilver of Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin; Betsy Haberl (Jim) of Evanston, Illinois, Courtney Reynolds (Nathan) of East Lansing, Michigan; and two great grandchildren, Avi Finesilver and Oliver Phillip Haberl.

Visitation will be at Cotter Funeral Home, 860 N. Webster Ave., De Pere, Wisconsin on Friday November 16th from 4PM to 7PM followed by a Masonic Service at 7PM. On Saturday November 17th at First United Presbyterian Church, 605 N. Webster Ave., De Pere there will be visitation from 12PM to 2PM, funeral service at 2PM with Rev. Will Tabb officiating, and reception at 3PM. Online condolences may be expressed at

Memorials may be given to the First United Presbyterian Church DePere Building Fund, Tudor Oaks Retirement Community in Muskego, Wisconsin, or the Green Lake Conference Center in Green Lake, Wisconsin.


Funeral Home

Cotter Funeral Home and Crematory
860 North Webster Avenue De Pere, WI 54115

Published in Green Bay Press-Gazette from Nov. 14 to Nov. 16, 2012