September 11, 1953 – November 17, 2022
In loving memory ~
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Phillip Harold Jennings. Phil died suddenly at the home he shared with his loving wife Marie Claire Jennings, November 17, 2022.
Born September 11, 1953 in Barrie, Ontario, Phil, the youngest of four, grew up an army “brat”; moving frequently and developing a taste for travel later in life. Having graduated from Victoria High School in 1971, Phil shortly after married Margaret Grant and had two children, son Chris and daughter Heather.
Phil then moved to Vancouver where he would begin his post-secondary education to become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) graduating from Camousun College in 1976. He did General Nursing Technology (Leading to R.N.) at BCIT in 1980. He then went on to get his Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1984 at University of Victoria. Phil eventually moved back to Vancouver Island and worked as a geriatric nurse in the Cowichan Valley where Phil continued to pursue his education part-time and was awarded his BScN from the University of Victoria in 1986. Then onto Long Term Care Management in 1989 through Canadian Hospital Association. Phil was awarded in accordance with the Health Authorities Act, the Minister of Health and Minister Responsible for Seniors ordered the designation of the COWICHAN COMMUNITIES HEALTH COUNCIL, effective March 27, 1995. Phil has a diploma in Christian Ministry from St. Francis Xavier, Antigonish, Nova Scotia.
Phil worked at Glenwarren Long Term Care Facility in Victoria as Director of Nursing, and then went on to work at Cowichan Lodge in Duncan and then Ministry of Health in Victoria.
In 1986 Phil met Mary Claire an LPN, who had two sons, Dave and Tim, and they married and had a wonderful and fulfilling life with their blended families.
Phil continued his work in Health Care throughout his life; going from sought-after bath attendant – he was tall and strong, giving the frail a sense of safety and comfort in his care – to becoming an advocate for grace and humanity for the elderly and infirm by joining the Ministry of Citizens’ Services as Director of IM/IT Policy. In 2012, Phil retired from the Ministry of Health Services having achieved the role of Lead Director of Strategic Policy and Information Management, but retirement doesn’t quite describe what he did next.
Phil’s nursing background, endless compassion and “big” love led him to spend his time caring for many of his family and community members, providing a sense of dignity and un-shakable support during troubled times or embracing end-of-life. His passion was his family and his faith, reading and photography. He and Mary Claire spent many, many hours reading at either a river or the ocean every afternoon reading, rain or shine, any beach from Parksville to Victoria. You never knew where to find them. Phil also became involved with the Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society, sharing his commitment to the preservation of the S’amunu Watershed with tourists and locals, he devoted time to the MS Society of Canada, he was a 4th degree member of the Knights of Columbus. Until his final day, Phil spent endless hours volunteering and serving at St. Edward’s Parish; welcoming new-comers, sharing his own insights and journey of spirituality and faith. He regularly shared his musings on life through his photography, poems and prayers on Facebook.
Phil was the coordinator of Adult Faith Journey. He was ombudsman for Island Catholic Schools. Phil received the Medal of Honour from the Diocese of Victoria. He was a member of Diocesan Health Board in Victoria.
Phil is survived by his loving wife of 35 years, Mary Claire, children Chris, Heather (Renee), Dave (Lana) and Tim (Gina), granddaughters (Krista, Melissa, Mackenzie and Kaiya) and great grandson’s (Austin and Preston); sister, Dot (Ann) and brother Art (Jenni) and many nieces nephews and cousins. Phil was predeceased by parents William and Dorothy, and brother Bill.
He will be remembered as a man of faith who loved every creature, great and small – deeply, unapologetically, without fear or judgement. He was a “good man” and will be missed deeply by many.
Services will be held at St. Edward’s Parish, 2085 Maple Bay Rd., Duncan, B.C. on November 29th at 11am followed by a fellowship reception. Burial will take place at St. Francis Xavier cemetery at 3pm. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the following:
• Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society
• Cowichan Valley Food Bank
• Cowichan Women Against Violence Society
• House of Grace for unwed mothers 250-737-4337
Online condolences may be made at www.hwwallacecbc.com
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