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PHILLIPS, Arthur “George” Bernard

October 23, 1928 – East Kildonan, Manitoba
May 10, 2018 – Calgary, Alberta

It is with profound sadness that we announce the peaceful passing of our Dad, George Phillips, on Thursday, May 10th, 7:15 A.M., at his place of residence, Seton Age Care, Calgary, Alberta. Dad was born on October 23, 1928, in East Kildonan, Manitoba, to Alfred and Nora Phillips (nee Kennedy-Wright), the fourth of four children.

He married Bea (nee Downey) on September 16, 1950 and enjoyed 58 years together until Mom’s passing on September 13, 2008. George and Bea were blessed with two children, Deborah (Dean Hitchcock) and Blaine (Tracy Stephensen); along with three grandchildren, Amy (Mike), Erin (Kelsey) and Dean.

Dad began his career with the Canadian National Railway in 1942 and spent 46 years there until he retired in June 1988. He enjoyed so many great years at CN making numerous life-long friends both in Canada & the United States through his many years in CN’s Claims & Prevention Department. Dad’s affiliation with the Association of American Railroads was critical as he developed a network of relationships throughout railroads in North America. Dad was the type of person who, although was “the boss”, always made teamwork a part of his career. He was such a people person and a great communicator and he loved what he did for so many years, whether it was managing a derailment site in the middle of January at the most remote location or having a cold beer with family and friends at the beach.

For all who knew Dad, his kindness, gentle nature and remarkable sense of humor will be remembered forever. Dad was a great teacher, mentor and perfect role model for Deb and Blaine. He passed on so many great qualities to Deb and Blaine as well as his three grandchildren, Amy, Erin and Dean. When it came to family, nothing else mattered to Dad. As Dad’s health began to fail, and ultimately became too overwhelming, he still wanted to make sure family was alright. Dean Hitchcock, Dad’s son-in-law, has always been one of the most important people in Dad’s and Mom’s life. Dean always put their needs ahead of his own and he was always there to support them every step of the way. When Tracy came into Dad and Mom’s life, there was never a moment they didn’t do everything they could to make her feel loved and part of the family. Dad’s grandchildren always made him smile – they will always make him so very proud.

Dad and Mom bought their cabin at Grand Beach in the Fall of 1963. As the years passed, the cabin became not just their weekend and vacation getaway, but a place where family gathered to share meals, laughter and love. It was, and always will be, a “drop in center” for the many friends and family at Grand Beach. Whether it was to stop in and share stories, or to drop in and check up on Dad, our cabin is so much more than four walls. It’s the “Center Point” of so much in all our lives.

Dad lived at Seton Age Care for the past 2 ½ years. While there, he received the finest care one could image. There are far too many staff to mention. Suffice to say each and every person cared for Dad as if he were their own father. We cannot thank the staff enough for how they made our Dad feel important, safe and dignified. We are forever in their debt for absolutely everything they did for Dad.

George leaves behind his two children and their spouses; three grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his loving wife and best friend, Bea; his father and mother Alfred and Nora; sister and brother-in-law Grace and Harold, sister and brother-in-law Olive and Frank, and brother and sister-in-law Alf and Doreen; and a premature baby girl (Mary) in 1966.

No funeral services are planned at this time. Condolences may be forwarded through If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Alberta, 200, 119 – 14th Street N.W., Calgary, AB T2N 1Z6 Telephone: (403) 264-5549, or to the Canadian Cancer Society, 200 – 325 Manning Rd. N.E., Calgary, AB T2E 2P5 Telephone: (403) 205-3966, email

In living memory of George Phillips, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Eastside, 5388 MEMORIAL DRIVE N.E., Calgary, AB, T2A 3V9, Telephone: 403- 248-8585.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Lori Skinner :

    Our sincere condolences. We will keep the many fond memories we have of George close at heart.
    Lovingly remembered,
    Lori & Dave

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  2. Janet & Bruce Anderson :

    With Deepest Sympathies on the passing of your father! Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire family!

    Janet & Bruce Anderson

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  3. Deb and Dean, Blaine and Tracy, Amy, Erin and Dean, we are very sorry to hear about your loss. The many memories you have are a tribute to the wonderful family relationships you all formed.

    Michael, Allison, Jordan, Sean and Alexandra

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  4. Deb, Dean, Blaine, Tracy, Amy, Erin and Dean – sending our love to you all during this difficult time. We are so happy that we had the privilege of a relationship with both Bea and George. We have great memories of great times together with lots of stories told…. Grand Beach pizza (Bea’s cup on her head), Thanksgiving (with turkey a few hours late!), thank goodness for good company, several Christmas meals – 22 for dinner is great when it means more family and even New Years Eve – watching George play Wii with the kids. We feel blessed to have shared in a small part of your family. Love you, Tyla Darryl, Maddie and Grayson

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  5. Carol McInnes :

    Debbie, Dean and Phillips family, I just found out about your dad’s passing, and have had a very heavy heart since. Whenever I saw and said “Hi” to George, I was always greeted with his heartwarming smile, which I will truly miss. I’ll miss the little visits with you and Dean, and your help with Trivial pursuit, as well.
    Our condolences and hugs,
    Carol, Sumi and Tommy (Age Care Seton).

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