Philip R. Spada
1942 - 2019
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September 28, 1942 - October 30, 2019 Philip R. Spada, 77, of Glendale, CA, died of lung cancer on Wednesday, October 30, 2019 at the City of Hope National Medical Center, with his wife Francine and his daughters Katherine and Alexandra by his side. Philip was born in Ulster County, NY, the son of Frank and Vera (Waruch) Spada, where children had to walk to school uphill both ways, often in the snow. With only one pair of boots between them, Phil and his brothers Frank and Richard would make the trek with their arms around each other's shoulders, in a synchronized hop so that no stocking feet would touch the ground. He attended Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Food Science and Management before enlisting in the U.S. Air Force. Subsequently, he moved to Florida to work as a salesperson for the Carnation Company, before fulfilling his dream of moving to sunny California, where he lived for the rest of his life. As a child, Phil spent a summer pursuing a merit badge in reading from the Boy Scouts, borrowing every adventure novel he could from the library-but was challenged to broaden his interests beyond just one genre. And so he did, living a life that would take him around the world on adventures of his own. Phil's love of cooking was evident as a child, when he would spend time in his mother's kitchen, learning his family's Ukrainian and Italian recipes. In young adulthood, he found his way into the food business with jobs at a greenhouse, on a milk truck, and as a waiter at a Catskills hotel. Years later, he led sales and marketing teams for Keebler, Golden Tiger, and Windsor Frozen Foods. But the return to his culinary career came after his years spent in service to the community. In the 1970s, Phil joined the Los Angeles Police Reserve Corps, where he served a variety of assignments, including Valley Traffic Accident Investigation and the Bomb Squad. He was also the first person in LAPD history to be named Reserve Officer of the Year. He then became an investigator for the L.A. County Medical Examiner-Coroner, where he helped the deceased tell their stories, seeking justice in the resolution of their cases. This was a defining chapter in his life as he embodied a real-life hero like the adventurous crime-fighters on the pages in books, complete with a pilot's license, rappelling from helicopters, and an Alfa Romeo GTV. Hardly a day went by when Phil wasn't making someone laugh. He had a wealth of fascinating stories, jokes (both good and so-bad-they're-good), and correct questions to Jeopardy! answers. His knack for making friends wherever he went, paired with his avid traveling, made for convivial chats over coffee, cigars, or single malt scotch with compadres on every continent. This interest in soaking up culture extended to a love of live music, dance, theatre, and movies; weeks before his passing, his daughters took him to see The Who at the Hollywood Bowl, where he reminisced about taking his parents to see Johnny Cash play there in the sixties. Along with his wife and daughters, he is survived by many friends and a large family, including his son, Andrew and his wife Susan; his son, Philip and his wife Ndinda; his sister-in-law Sandra; three grandsons, Garrett, Zachary, and Ryan; two godchildren: Armando and Irene; and the immortal Queen (because Freddie Mercury lives forever). He was predeceased by his parents, his brother Frank, and his uncle Mike and aunt Ellen, who were his godparents. He loved many, and was loved by many; he lived a full life, and shared it with all of us. In keeping with his wishes, no funeral services will be held. Philip was an ardent believer in the importance of education to create a world where girls are afforded equal opportunities in life. Inspired by Malala Yousafzai and her father's advocacy for girls' education, it would be a fitting tribute to donate to the Malala Fund in lieu of sending flowers. You can do so at malala.org/donate. This obituary brought to you by cigarettes-unfiltered, two packs a day, from 1959 to 1982.

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Published in Los Angeles Times from Nov. 9 to Nov. 10, 2019.
Memories & Condolences
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22 entries
March 22, 2020
Armando and Phillip
Armando Espinoza
December 2, 2019
Philip and Irene, Goddaughter
Francine Carrasco de Spada
December 2, 2019
Spain
Francine Carrasco de Spada
December 2, 2019
Francine Carrasco de Spada
December 1, 2019
Beatriz
December 1, 2019
Beatriz
December 1, 2019
Engagement Photo
Francine Carrasco de Spada
December 1, 2019
Miguel Aguilar
December 1, 2019
Miguel Aguilar
November 18, 2019
I remember the first time I met Philip was at his birthday party. I had met Francine a few months earlier at WPOA and we became fast friends. Thank you Philip for planning our annual "girls getaway". Francine and I had great times and your planning made it all run smoothly. Even though distance kept us apart, you, Francine and the girls were always part of my "famiglia". You were a great dad to your girls and a great husband to Francine. I will never forget your big heart and warm smile. You will truly be missed but never forgotten. Rest in peace dear friend.
Anna Brown
November 14, 2019
I remember visiting Philip in Southern California in my late teens- we went to a Dodgers game, he took me to my first visit ever to Disneyland and was so welcoming and kind -Philip was a real family man to our extended Waruch family and he loved sharing stories of our childhoods and dreams for the future. He was inspirational in my studies of anthropology and science. Blessings Philip and we will always hold fond memories of you in our hearts.
Kristen Atkins
November 13, 2019
Lourdes-Jesus, Amaia-Ander, Ane-Rodri desde San Sebastian (España) os enviamos besos y un fuerte abrazo. Le tendremos siempre en nuestro recuerdo
Jesis Jiménez
November 13, 2019
Phil and I went thru the police academy together..Great guy and I am sure will be missed by all..
Bernie Duker R0114 retired
November 13, 2019
Nuestras más sinceras condolencias para Francine, Katherine, Alexandra y demás miembros de la familia por tan irreparable pérdida.
Nosotros conocimos a Philip cuando mi hija Leyre fue desde España a terminar el doctorado en Ingeniería Química en la Universidad del Sur de California (USC). Tanto Philip como Francine cuidaron de ella como si fuera su propia hija, de lo que les estaremos agradecidos eternamente.
Philip era la bondad personificada y te transmitía calma y paz en cuanto te encontrabas a su lado.
Philip, aquí, en España dejas buenos amigos afligidos por tu marcha. Descansa en Paz, amigo y compañero. Y desde allí donde te encuentres, sé nuestro Ángel de la Guarda y cuídanos hasta que nos reunamos de nuevo.
Juan Gómez Fernández
November 13, 2019
Nuestras más sinceras muestras de dolor para Francine, Katherine, Alexandra y demás miembros de la familia por tan irreparable pérdida. Philip era la bondad personificada. Nosotros conocimos a Philip cuando nuestra hija Leyre fue a la Universidad del Sur de California, en Los Ángeles. Philip y Francine la cuidaron como si fuera su propia hija y nosotros les estaremos eternamente agradecidos. Era un hombre que irradiaba calma y paz en cuanto estabas a su lado. Aquí, en España, deja muchos amigos sumidos en el dolor por su pérdida. Descansa en Paz, amigo y compañero. Desde allí donde te encuentres sé nuestro Ángel de la Guarda y cuídanos a todos.
Juan Gómez Fernández
November 12, 2019
Miami FL
Anthony Carrasco
November 11, 2019
I worked with Phil at the LAPD Bomb Squad for several years. A super nice guy that you could always depend on. Very smart & continuously funny, he could make your day. RIP
Jimmy Trahin
November 11, 2019
Philip and I last saw each other before we both left the Rondout Valley. We had lots of cousins and he was one who was always friendly and kind. Danced with me at lessons we took at Indian Valley Inn. Laughed with me about his being hypnotized on stage at our high school. Was quiet as we both listened to Waruch stories often in Ukrainian around Grandma's large table. I'm so glad to know more about his life. Sounds wonderful. Aunt Vera would have been proud.
Judy Waruch Kyle
November 10, 2019
Florida 2005 Phil loved these shirts
Sincerest condolences. So many happy memories to look back on rest easy dear friend.

Your Family in the UK
John Stewart
November 9, 2019
Felipo,
Thank you for saving my life!
Frannie
November 9, 2019
Siempre estarás vivo en mi corazón y en el de tu ahijada Irene. Sin duda volveremos a reunirnos.
Te queremos y nunca te olvidaremos.
Miguel Aguilar
November 9, 2019
Sincere condolences to the Spada Family, May God bless you with love and peace and comfort in your lives to help you cope with the dear one that you lost. Philip will be missed.
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