Niantic - Philip Louis Mountain, a caring and devoted educator, community servant, and coach, died Tuesday, Jan. 22. He was 86. Those who knew Philip both professionally and personally held him in the highest regard based on his character, kindness, dry sense of humor, intelligence, and quiet competitive spirit.
The son of Louis Napoleon Mountain and Bibiana Murphy Mountain, Philip was born and raised in Dexter, Maine. He was educated in the Dexter schools and graduated from N.H. Fay High School in 1950. While in school he excelled both academically and athletically, starring in football, baseball and basketball. Upon graduation from high school he went on to study at Farmington State Teachers College where he played both basketball and baseball and earned a Bachelors of Science degree in Education.
After graduation from college he enlisted in the United States Army. He served as a Radio Operator and teacher. He was stationed in Mineral Wells, Texas. After his army service he returned to Maine where he began his career in education as a teacher at Bar Harbor Junior High School in Bar Harbor, Maine.
While attending graduate classes at the University of Maine he was introduced to Dominica (Mimi) Provenzano and they married on Dec. 18, 1960 at the Immaculate Conception Church in the Bronx, N.Y. After completing his Masters in Education at the University of Maine, Philip and Mimi moved to Clinton, Conn. and Philip accepted a teaching job at Killingworth Junior High in Killingworth, Conn. While teaching in Killingworth he attended the University of Connecticut where he earned an Advanced Degree in School Administration. After 9 years teaching in Killingworth, Philip took a job as a Principal in the Montville Public School system.
Philip and Mimi moved to East Lyme, Conn. in 1971. In East Lyme they raised two sons, Stephen and Christopher. Philip was devoted to his family. He was married to the love of his life, Mimi for nearly 60 years. They enjoyed each other's company, raising a family, traveling, dancing, and spending time together. As dedicated father, he was a positive influence, mentor, and consummate teacher to both his sons. He used the same positive approach while working with students in an educational setting and on an athletic field.
During his 22 year tenure in Montville, he served as Principal at all four community elementary schools, Palmer, Oakdale, Mohegan and Fair Oaks. He was a beloved and respected administrator by students and staff alike. Philip retired from his position as principal in 1992. He was recognized by the school district at his retirement as an outstanding educator and school leader. He loved teaching and working with young people. Through his work he influenced countless lives and truly made a difference in the communities in which he served.
Philip was very active throughout his life in coaching high school and youth sports. He served in numerous coaching capacities for the schools in which he worked, including head football coach for Bar Harbor Maine High School. He was particularly active with the East Lyme Little League, serving as a coach and member of the Little League board. During his involvement, he was the longtime manager in the town league. He also coached numerous All-Star teams; managing the 1981 East Lyme 12-Year-Old All-Star team to a District championship and to the Connecticut State finals. He was recognized in 2012 with the Annual First Pitch Award for his dedicated service to the league. After years of coaching Philip and Mimi were fixtures at their grandchildren's sporting events.
Philip was active in the community as well, serving 17 plus years as a board member and as a Chairperson for the East Lyme Commission on Aging, and as a member of the choir at St. Agnes Church where he and Mimi are parishioners. He was a long time member of the Niantic Lions Club. He enjoyed playing golf and following his favorite sports teams, the New York Giants and Boston Red Sox.
In addition to his wife of 58 years, he is survived by son, Stephen Mountain and daughter in-law Maura Mountain of Chester, New Jersey and son Christopher Mountain and daughter in-law Meg Mountain of Niantic, Conn. and five grandchildren, Ryan, Christine, Emily, Jack and Abby. He is also survived by a brother Charles Mountain of Mars Hill, ME; sisters Cynthia Robinson of Dexter, ME, Louise Cyr of Westfield, Mass. He was predeceased by a brother Jerry Mountain.
Visitation for Philip will take place at the Neilan Funeral Home on 48 Grand Street in Niantic, Connecticut from 5 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 27. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Monday, January 28 at St. Agnes Church located at 22 Haigh Avenue in Niantic, Connecticut. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Miracle League of Southeastern CT Multi-Sports Field Project, The Miracle League of CT, 47 Upson St. Bristol, CT 06010.
Published in The Day on Jan. 26, 2019.