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We remember and celebrate the beautiful life of Mr. Felix J. “Phil” Militello. He passed away peacefully Saturday morning August 24, 2013 at his residence at the age of 87. The son of the late James V. and Rose (Bosco) Militello was born January 12, 1926 in Bay City, Michigan where he remained a lifelong resident. He was a member of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Essexville, the F.O.E. Aries 1010 and a former member of the Washington Society in Saginaw. On June 25,1949, he was united in marriage to Joan L. Heitzig, they shared their lives together for over 64 years. Phil always had a strong work ethic, which began at Militello Brothers Produce. His passion for cooking then lead him into co-ownership of three restaurants, The Stop In, The Trio and Chef Charles. He was employed by Bay Valley Hotel and Resort, for nearly 20 years and upon retirement established PJ Maintenance, where he continued to care for the residents. He loved buying and selling cars for Showtime Auto Sales where he was the CEO. Phil and Joan enjoyed spending many evenings on the dance floor with their close friends and dance partners they met over the years. He also enjoyed bowling and was an avid sports fan, but most of all he cherished the time that he spent with his family. Phil will be sadly missed and remembered by all who loved him.
Besides his wife, Joan, who survives him in his passing, also left behind to cherish his memories are five children and their spouses: Linda (James) Gilles, Rosalie (Mark) Gentle, Phyllis (Stan) Madziar, Rick (Karen) Militello and Chris (Deb) Militello, fifteen grandchildren, David and Ryan Gilles, Jenny Gamble, Jamie Nugent, and Katie Engblade, Andra Cooley, Ashley Bader, Adam and AJ Gentle, Sara Hurley, Stephanie and Christopher Madziar, Nick, Geena and CJ Militello, twenty four great grandchildren and his cat; Frasier. Other members of his family include his brothers, sisters-in-law, sisters and brother in law: Tony(Penny) Militello, Neno (Pat) Militello, Charles (Marylee) Militello, James (Janice) Militello, Grace (Al) Chevalier, Pauline (Tom) Guerin, Jeanette Budnik, Ross Brown, Eloise Lisk and Lorraine (Sam) Wackerle, and many beloved nieces, nephews, cousins, friends and co-worker Fred Williams. He was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers and two sisters-in-law; Santo (Rose) Militello, Sam Militello, Lois (Bud) Sullivan, four sisters, two who passed in early childhood, both named Rosalie, Mary Hunter, Cecelia Brown, two brothers in law, Ted Budnik and Ken Hunter, and two lifelong buddies, Harold Lisk and Andy Lupo.
The Militello family would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Dr. Dandamudi, nurses and care givers; Jennifer, Linda, Tina, Maria, Ashley and Tim for the love, kindness and compassion which they gave to Phil during his time in their care.
The Funeral Liturgy will take place Friday, August 30, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Essexville. Celebrant will be Rev. Fr. Dale A. Orlik with private interment in Floral Gardens Cemetery. Friends may call at the Gephart Funeral Home, Inc. Thursday from 2:00 to 8:00 p.m. The Vigil for the Deceased will take place Thursday evening at 7:00 p.m. at the funeral home. Mr. Militello will be taken to the church on Friday to lie in state from 9:00 a.m. and until the time of the Mass. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider a memorial to Heartland Hospice. www.gephartfuneralhome.com