Major Langford Phillips passed away on June 18, 2020. His loving wife of 21 years, Cindy (née McLaughlin), was at his bedside in their home in Wallaceburg. He was born June 16, 1938, at Almondsbury, England, to Roy and Valentine (née Langford) Phillips. Predeceased by his parents and his siblings, Rosemary-Anne (Alan) and Russell (Sarah), his father-in-law, “Dad-Bud” Charlie McLaughlin, godson BJ Jacques, and dear friends Wills Rawana, Gale Boardman and “Em” Marjama. He is survived by his only child and apple of his eye, Glen (Leanne), mother-in-law Bev McLaughlin, brother-in-law Randy McLaughlin, goddaughter Briar, dear friends Susah and Brad Jacques, his buddies “King Louie” Mele and Roger Gallaway, family in Canada and Britain, and his faithful four-legged companion, MingPu. Major, his true given name, spent his youth in England, Scotland and Australia. Upon graduating from the prestigious Bristol Grammar School, he emigrated to Canada in 1956 and joined his already emigrated family in Toronto. He enrolled in engineering at the University of Toronto, but transferred to his true passion, history. Major then became a secondary school teacher, first in Kapuskasing, Ontario, and then at Northern Collegiate in Sarnia for one year. He jumped ship from north to south and found a home at S.C.I.T.S., where he taught for three decades. Major was most passionate about teaching history, law and politics. His students’ intellectual growth inspired him to perfect his craft. He was head of the history department at S.C.I.T.S. for many years and felt blessed to have worked with so many fine teachers. Major also proudly contributed his best volunteer energies to the City of Sarnia’s Planning and Heritage Committees, the Sarnia Housing Authority, and the Sarnia Historical Society. He considered his tenure on the Blue Water Bridge Authority to be his crowning achievement, as he was very pleased to contribute to the much-needed twining of the bridge. Major also dedicated himself to raising money for the community by running 200 charity bingos. He believed in civic engagement. Major was also actively involved in party politics and O.S.S.T.F. affairs. Major enjoyed his time at Bristol Grammar School, except for one rugby match in which a severely dislocated hip ended any hope of team sports. Still, he managed to find an athletic outlet in mountain climbing and hiking in early adulthood. Other dimensions of his life had him driving new school busses from Ontario to school-board customers across the Prairies, if anything so he could see more of the beautiful country he chose as home. Similarly, he and Glen went on several cross-Canada trips of discovery. For those periodically drab work events, through which we all must suffer, he sported his “blue bird of happiness” leisure suit from the 1970s for the last two-thirds of his career. Major delighted in teaching his son and his son’s friends the choicest of swearing phrases from England. He also proved that duct tape, when imagined properly, could be used to fix just about anything around his home on Essex St. For 41 years he was happy to lend a hand to his neighbours. He especially held in high regard Doug and the rest of the Downies, Denise and the rest of the Barneses, Mildred, Steve and Mary Lou, Guy and Kelly, and Bob and Mary Ellen. Major wholeheartedly believed that it was best to enjoy his beloved Sibelius and Beethoven well beyond volume 11 on the living room stereo. And then there were the menthol Cameos. He always had one dangling from the corner of his mouth, even when he talked. He could make an excellent roast beef, and his sherry trifles were so loaded that a sailor would blush. Yet, he couldn’t make mac and cheese correctly, no matter how hard he tried. With Cindy, Major discovered that life indeed gets better after retirement because love opens new doors. Together, he and Cindy pursued all sorts of adventures, such as collectible-hunting, touring around Canada and visiting Europe. Cremation has taken place. A memorial for Major Langford Phillips will be announced later. Remembrances and condolences may be expressed to the family online in “Major’s Guestbook” at mccormackfuneralhomesarnia.com. In Major’s memory, contributions to the Sarnia and District Humane Society are appreciated. Major wanted a decent world. Another fitting way to remember him is please do a good turn for someone else today.
A Memorial for
Major Langford Phillips will be announced at a later date.