Say­ing good­bye

Gan­der says good­bye to well-loved cit­i­zen

The Beacon (Gander) - - Front page - BY DANETTE DOO­LEY SPE­CIAL TO THE BEA­CON danette@nl.rogers.com

Well-known Gan­der cit­i­zen Phillip “Phil” Doo­ley died two months shy of his 65th birth­day.

One of Gan­der’s most fa­mous and friendly cit­i­zens has passed away.

Phillip “Phil” Doo­ley died on Feb. 7, two months shy of his 65th birth­day.

Since word came of Doo­ley’s pass­ing, hun­dreds of tributes have been posted on so­cial me­dia for a man many de­scribe as a “town icon.”

There’s been a poem and a bal­lad writ­ten about the gen­tle gi­ant and a sug­ges­tion on so­cial me­dia that a street in Gan­der be named af­ter Doo­ley.

A reg­u­lar at many lo­cal busi­nesses and a com­mon sight around town with his brother Danny, Doo­ley has been de­scribed as a big man with a big smile – a man with a knack for elec­tron­ics who took plea­sure in help­ing oth­ers.

The Gan­der Fly­ers held a mo­ment of si­lence for Doo­ley at their hockey game on Feb. 10.

Gan­der mayor Percy Far­well said Doo­ley was as much of an icon in Gan­der as any­one who ever lived there.

He had an in­cred­i­ble mem­ory and was con­sis­tently in a good mood, the mayor dur­ing a re­cent phone in­ter­view.

Doo­ley de­serves to be rec­og­nized for his tremen­dous con­tri­bu­tion to the town, Far­well said.

“Phil al­ways had time to talk to you and he was al­ways an in­ter­est­ing per­son to talk to. You wouldn’t pass up an op­por­tu­nity to talk to Phil. No one that I know has ever had any rea­son not to like Phil. He was such a joy to know,” Far­well said.

Dr. Meino Mast met Doo­ley about five years ago. The two quickly be­came friends.

“There hasn’t been a day that Phil did not drop over to my house to chit-chat about his bikes and ev­ery­thing that hap­pened in Gan­der that day,” Mast wrote on so­cial me­dia.

Doo­ley took great pride in look­ing af­ter Mast’s home and pets when he was out of town.

He loved Mast’s dogs and they loved him.

“Phil kept my drive­way free of snow in the win­ter and my grass short in the sum­mer. Phil was mag­i­cal with any­thing that had a mo­tor,” he wrote.

Mast wrote how Doo­ley had keys and free ac­cess to his home.

“Some­times, I caught him nap­ping in my house while he babysat my dogs. My shed will miss his two big Gold­wings (mo­tor­cy­cles) his pride and joy – and there would have been three af­ter his birth­day,” Mast wrote.

Doo­ley also vis­ited Mast’s den­tal of­fice every day. Mast said he and his staff will miss his morn­ing vis­its and “lovely chats.”

Doo­ley was de­voted to his par­ents, Mary E. and Ger­ald Doo­ley.

He vis­ited his fa­ther every day at Lake­side Homes.

Staff at the home have writ­ten via so­cial me­dia how, they, too, will miss his vis­its.

On the pro­gram passed out dur­ing Doo­ley’s fu­neral, the Doo­ley fam­ily thanked the peo­ple of Gan­der for “car­ing and re­spect­ing Phil for who he was.”

It’s who he was that made Doo­ley so unique and love­able.

Robyn Moyles grew up in Gan­der.

She de­scribes Doo­ley as “one of the most amaz­ing peo­ple she’s ever met.”

“I re­ally ad­mired his keen­ness when it came to elec­tron­ics... Peo­ple would bring their things to the elec­tron­ics store.

They would say they couldn’t fix it. And Phil would take it and fix it... he was just a le­gend and he’ll be re­ally missed,” Moyles said when con­tacted by phone at her home in Toronto.

Af­ter she moved away, Moyles said, Doo­ley con­tin­ued to ask her par­ents (He­len and Cluny Moyles) how she was do­ing.

“He would go up and talk to any­one... he was a man be­yond his time,” Moyles said.

Mary Ellen Whalen said her cousin en­joyed do­ing odd jobs for oth­ers.

“He cleared snow, mowed their lawns. He was very trust­wor­thy,” she said.

His aunt Jane Doo­ley said her sis­ter and brother-in-law were ex­cep­tional par­ents who taught all their chil­dren about hon­esty and other im­por­tant things in life.

“They taught Phil and Dan and their other chil­dren about treat­ing every­body with re­spect. They did with­out them­selves so that their chil­dren could have ev­ery­thing they needed,” she said.

Mast summed up just how much he will miss his friend, words that oth­ers in the air­port town no doubt also echo.

“There is a void in me that can­not be filled by any­one but you. Hang in there, buddy we will all join you one day. In the mean­time, keep an eye on my house and my­self from wher­ever you are. I’m sure you will be great en­ter­tain­ment and a great as­set for our and your God,” he wrote.

Doo­ley is sur­vived by his par­ents, his brothers Danny, Ron, Don­ald and Barry, his sis­ter Ruby Cut­ler as well as many other rel­a­tives and friends.

An es­ti­mated 500 peo­ple turned out at St. Joseph’s Ro­man Catholic Church in Gan­der on Feb. 10 to cel­e­brate Phil’s life.

Do­na­tions to his fam­ily are grate­fully ac­cepted.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF ROBYN MOYLES

Well-known Gan­der cit­i­zen Phillip “Phil” Doo­ley died on Feb. 7, two months shy of his 65th birth­day.

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