Anne Philippson is being remembered as a well-respected member of the community and for her devotion to family and the Chemainus Health Care Auxiliary.
Philippson (nee Racich) died on Oct. 30 at the age of 90.
“She was a lady of just such high standards and attention to detail and always there to support the auxiliary,” said auxiliary member Susan Beaubier. “Such a fine lady and she had such a great sense of humour and to me she was a special friend.
“Anne was loved and respected in the auxiliary.”
Already a lifetime member of the auxiliary, Anne was honoured in 2016 for 58 years of service that began in 1958 along with Sandra Heydon (60 years at the time) and Curl Twentyman (50 years at the time).
Anne and husband Dr. Jerry Philippson had three children – Dr. Dan Philippson of Duncan, Karla Sandwith of Comox and Dr. Jay Philippson of Chemainus.
The family has been humbled with the countless messages they’ve received since people have learned of Anne’s death.
“We’ve received so many kind memories of mom,” said daughter Karla.
In the heyday of the 1950s, ’60s, ’70s and into the ’80s, the Philippsons were one of three doctor’s families influential in all walks of life in the tight-knit community of Chemainus, both professionally and socially. The Heydons, Philippsons and Fentons were the fabric of the town for many years, providing expert care and revolving it around a busy family life.
Anne enjoyed living in Chemainus and made the most of every opportunity to lend a helping hand.
“She was very civic-minded,” said Karla. “She participated generously and enthusiastically with all the public events.”
That included the famous Chemainus Hospital Days that provided a combination of great entertainment from the event’s shows and brought the community together.
“She was really involved with the groups her children were involved with – the hockey, the figure skating and the parades,” added Karla. “She was a behind-the-scenes kind of person and she was very devoted to her family.”
“She was a hard-working professional home-maker, a stay-at-home mom,” added son Jay Philippson, who’s an orthodontist in Duncan.
“She looked after all our sports activity needs, helped us become the citizens we are.”
She was once a bookkeeper for the Eaton’s company in Vancouver, Jay said, and helped with the books at the Chemainus Health Care Auxiliary’s Thrift Shop. She also loved volunteering as a costume designer and seamstress for the Hospital Day shows.
Anne was born in Princeton, B.C. in 1931. She met her eventual husband of 67 years, Dr. Jerry, at a pick-up baseball game when he was a medical student. They were married in 1954 and lived in Burnaby until Jerry completed his medical training and internship and eventually moved to Chemainus in 1957 where Jerry set up a long practice in town alongside Gordon Heydon and Larry Fenton.
The Philippsons lived on Rose Street initially before taking on a $20,000 mortgage and living on so-called “pill hill” in 1963. They moved in 1982 to a house on Bare Point where they resided until 2016.
Jay returned to live in Chemainus in 2011 and was able to assist his parents. As a result, “I think they were able to stay in Chemainus a little longer,” he said.
They relocated to Comox in 2016 to be closer to Karla’s family.
“They just needed a little bit of help with driving,” she said.
Stability and comfort with family and friends suited Anne best. “She wasn’t a woman who liked change,” Jay conceded.
Anne is survived by husband Jerry and their three children as well as 12 grandchildren and nine great grandchildren plus her sisters Kay and Manda.
There is no memorial service at this time. The family is welcoming donations to the Chemainus Health Care Auxiliary or a charity of choice and hopes everyone will remember Anne with a smile and a reflection on her friendship and service.