The Honourable Paul Gillrie Philp Paul passed away peacefully in his sleep on Saturday, December 29, 2018 at the Billings Court long-term care residence in Burlington, Ontario. His battle with the ravages of Alzheimer's disease is finally at an end.
He was born on August 1, 1926, in Hamilton, Ontario, the son of Dr. Gerald and Alma Philp. He was pre-deceased by his parents and his sister, Geraldine Macpherson. He leaves behind his beloved wife of almost 66 years, Joyce (nee Huston), his children Dale (Michael Quigley), John (Janie Pickup) and Paul, and grandchildren, Jamie, Trevor and Huston Philp, and Meaghan and Austin Philp, and niece and nephews, Susan Schultz and Scott and Craig Macpherson.
Paul grew up in Hamilton and attended Delta High School and then McMaster University, where he was president of the Students Society. During his summers and whenever he could, he would be found at the Royal Hamilton Yacht Club sailing and racing his sailboat around Hamilton Bay.
He then pursued a long and very successful career in the law. He attended Osgoode Hall Law School from 1948 to 1951, was called to the Bar in 1951 and commenced practice in Hamilton with Walsh, Evans, later named Evans, Philp, Gordon, Leggat & Evans, and finally under the firm name of Evans, Philp, as it remains today. Paul was a hard working advocate and general civil and commercial litigator. He was enormously well respected, both by his clients and his peers.
Paul was an active member, Director and Vice-President of the Advocates Society of Ontario, a Past-President of the Hamilton Lawyers Club, the Hamilton Medical-Legal Society, and he served as a Director of the Rotary Club of Hamilton, the Hamilton Club, the Hamilton S.P.C.A., Hamilton District Boy-Scouts Association, the Bach-Elgar Choir, and the Holimont Ski Club. He was a Steward of Melrose United Church, and he served on the Board of Trustees of Chedoke-McMaster Hospitals for a number of years, the Idlewyld Manor Long Term Care Facility, and was onetime Chair of the Lawyers Section of Hamilton United Way. He was a Governor of the Canadian Law Information Council and a founding member of the Canadian Association of University Solicitors. He was awarded Her Majesty's Silver Jubilee Medal in 1977.
He was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1962, and later served as a Bencher of the Law Society of Upper Canada, before his appointment to the Supreme Court of Ontario in September of 1988. He served across the province as a trial judge of the Supreme Court of Ontario for five years, before returning to his hometown of Hamilton on the amalgamation of the courts. He loved every minute of being a judge, and he worked hard at it. He cared about everyone. He retired from the Superior Court of Justice on August 1, 2001, leaving a legacy as an exceptionally fair, balanced and patient judge. The counsel who appeared before him all knew that they would always get a good and fair hearing before Paul, regardless of the strength of their case.
Paul met the love of his life, Joyce Huston, in Southampton where she grew up. They went on to have a very long and happy marriage. He and Joyce raised their family in Hamilton. In the winter months they enjoyed skiing at Holimont in Ellicottville, New York with family and friends. Paul started skiing as a young teenager and was seen still skiing at Banff Mt Norquay at 80, and at 83 years of age at Holimont. Paul and his family enjoyed their summers at their beloved cottage in Southampton. He played golf and was a member of the Hamilton Golf and Country Club, Saugeen Golf Club, and sailed in Hamilton and on Lake Huron. He loved nothing more than being in Southampton, puttering around at the cottage, being on the beach with his grandchildren and the dogs, and looking out from the cottage at Chantry Island and the most beautiful sunset in the world.
He was a very special man, a wonderful husband, father, grandfather and father-in-law. He had a fine and disciplined mind, but he was also tons of fun. Paul loved to laugh, had a wonderful smile and a true love of life. His final battle with Alzheimer's disease progressed quickly. However, Paul was content and maintained his sense of humour and warm smile. He will be very sorely missed by his family and friends.
Heartfelt thanks go to the amazing staff who treated Dad with great respect and kindness, at LaSalle Park Retirement Community, at The Carlisle Retirement Residence, and at Billings Court Manor.
Visitation will take place at the J.B. Marlatt Funeral Home, 615 Main Street East, Hamilton, Ontario, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 8, 2019. A first celebration of his life will be held at Melrose United Church, 86 Homewood Avenue at Locke Street, Hamilton, on January 9, 2019, commencing at 11 a.m. A get together of family and Southampton summer friends will be arranged for a date to be announced in the spring, before his interment in The Southampton Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory to the Alzheimer's Society of Canada would be gratefully appreciated by the family.
Published in The Hamilton Spectator from Dec. 29, 2018 to Jan. 5, 2019.