Philip “Phil” Caron passed away early Wednesday morning, November 25, 2015, at Banner Gateway Medical Center in Gilbert, AZ. at the age of 92 after fighting cancer while residing in his Arizona winter home. Phil had been a long term resident of Wells, Michigan.
He was born on August 23, 1923 in Gladstone, son to Arthur and Malvina (Derouin) Caron. Phil joined the CCC Camps at a young age; when old enough, he joined the US Navy Air Force on March 6, 1941, serving out of Pensacola, Florida. He survived an airplane crash (10 others perished) in the Gulf of Mexico while hanging on a fuel tank overnight until he was rescued. He spent one year in a full body cast but recovered to maintain multiple jobs over his lifetime with major damage to his shoulder and legs. He was proud of not depending on “rocking chair money” (his quote) and being a World War II Veteran, wearing his WW II hat wherever he went. He was honorably discharged on July 5, 1945.
On March 2, 1944, Philip married Mary Marie Levesque in Pensacola, FL.
Phil worked at Harnischfeger, UP Concrete Pipe Company and was a home mechanic – three jobs most of his life until his retirement in 1983. He would come home from Harnischfeger at 3:30 pm, sleep one half hour on the floor, and then go to his other jobs until late in the evening. He could repair any kind of vehicle with a motor and transmission.
Once his wife, Mary, had her first stroke at age 56, he stayed home to assist in her multiple recoveries. He enjoyed hunting, snowmobiling, three wheeling, and maintaining his hunting camp in McFarland, in addition to traveling all across the US and Canada with Mary. He was proud to have raised five children who maintained his dedicated work ethic.
He is survived by his sons, Phil (Mary Catherine) of Perrysburg, Ohio, Denis (Linda) of Mount Vernon, Washington, Tony (Linda) of Wells, Tim (Vicki) of Flat Rock, and daughter, Cheryl (Wally) Godlewski of Cornell. There are 19 grandchildren and 31 great grandchildren and 11 great-great grandchildren. Also surviving are his sister Dorothy Denoo and step-brothers Wayne and Richard “Dick” Caron.
He was predeceased by his wife, Mary (Levesque) who passed away December 16, 2004; his brother, Arthur; sister, Jeanette “Dolly” Felch (who passed away on the same day & hour as Phil in years prior); step-brother, Edward Caron; step-sister Carol Davenport; and great grandson, Steven Christopher Rose.
Visitation will be held at the Crawford Funeral Home in Escanaba on Monday, December 7th from 2 – 4:30 p.m The Delta County Veterans Council will have military rites at 3:30 p.m. The Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 5 p.m. at St. Anthony’s of Padua Church in Wells, MI, with Rev. Rick Courier officiating. A meal will follow in the church hall.
Burial will be in Garden of Rest Cemetery next to his wife, Mary. He died peacefully after many health struggles over the last number of years with many more things he still wanted to accomplish.
Memorials may be made to the cancer cause of your choice in memory of Phil Caron.
The Crawford Funeral Homes are assisting the Caron family.