Walter “Phil” P. Deneau

Resided in Gladstone, Michigan
Died September 27th, 2019

Walter P. “Phil” Deneau, 78, of Gladstone, passed away on Friday, September 27, 2019 at U.P. Health System – Marquette.

Phil was born on March 22, 1941 in Masonville, MI, son of Walter J. and Marie (Micheau) Deneau. At the age of 14, he went to work to help support the family.   He graduated from Rapid River High School in 1959, where he excelled in athletics.  He joined the Army immediately after graduation and was trained as a military policeman in Fort Gordon, Georgia, and was later stationed at Fort Meade, Maryland.  He liked to talk of the special assignments he was given, including being Dwight Eisenhower’s golf “partner”.  He was honorably discharged in 1962.  He later attended Bay College and then graduated from the police academy at Michigan State University.

On August 27, 1962, Phil married Elizabeth “Liz” Slough in Gladstone.  He was hired by the Escanaba Police Department, which later became public safety, and worked as a public safety officer until his retirement in 1997, after over 34 years of service.

He enjoyed hunting, fishing, gardening, berry picking, country music, and playing cards.  Phil loved watching classic T.V. shows, especially Perry Mason and going for rides looking for deer.  He loved sharing stories of his many experiences, and will be especially missed by his grandchildren around the campfire.

Phil played dart ball for 50 years in the Gladstone League. He was a member of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Escanaba Eagles 1088, Gladstone American Legion, Wildlife Unlimited, and Ducks Unlimited.

Survivors include his wife, Elizabeth “Liz” Deneau of Gladstone; children, Robert (Lisa) Deneau of Lake Orion, MI and Sara (Nicholas) Roach of Grand Ledge, MI; eight grandchildren, Lindsay (David) Swindle, Stefanie (Jon) Champagne, Ryan Bayne, Josef and Alyssa Deneau, Austin, Nicholas and Randy Roach; seven great grandchildren: Jake, Mia, and Luke Champagne, Orahlynn, Raeanna, and Owen Roach and Hope Swindle.  He is further survived by brothers Donald (Sue) Deneau, John (Linda) Deneau, Roger (Hope) Deneau and Francis Deneau: Sisters Teresa Fleury, Nancy (Ken) Green, and Cassie Dausey. Liz’s siblings Mary (Mike) Whistler, Bill (Becky) Slough and Sharon Houtkamp also survive. He also leaves behind many treasured nieces, nephews, and cousins.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by an infant daughter, Lisa Marie; sisters Mary Dausey and Linda Thomma;  brother, James Deneau and parents-in-law Norm and Norma Slough.

Visitation will be on Thursday, October 3rd from 12 noon – 3 p.m. at the Crawford Funeral Home, 302 S. 13th St., Escanaba.  The funeral service will follow at 4 p.m. at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church with Rt. Rev. Rayford Ray, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Michigan and Rev. Suzanne Ray of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church officiating.  At the conclusion of the service, a meal will be served in the Eagles Club in Escanaba.

The family respectfully requests that in lieu of flowers memorials to Escanaba Public Safety for one of their community outreach programs, such as Shop with a Cop, The Hero Program, or the Angel Program be considered.

A message of condolence may be directed to the family by visiting

14 Tributes to “Walter “Phil” P. Deneau”

  1. Liz and family, We are sorry to learn of Phil’s passing. Our sympathy is with you.

  2. Please accept my deepest sympathy for your loss.
    Many prayers for you and your family.

  3. For the family of Phil,
    May you find peace in all the memories you hold dear to you. Our thoughts and Prayers are with you at this time of sorrow.

  4. For the Family
    May you find peace in all the wonderful memories. Our thoughts and Prayers be with you. Ann Streichert and Mike King

  5. Phil was an awesome man always greeting me with one of his big bear hugs which I will miss. Prayers to the Deneau family.

  6. I worked with Phil from 1982 until his retirement. I loved being paired with him on firefloor duty. We would watch Perry Mason (he knew the outcome of every episode!) Often he would bring in a pot of his homemade vegetable soup. He would always make extra and send me home with A LOT because he knew I liked it so much. He was a good friend who would always listen but only offered advice if l asked for it. Love you, Phil. See you when l get up there!

  7. Liz and family,

    Our sincere condolences to you and your family.

    Diane and Bill Wickham

  8. To Liz and family,

    Phil had a wonderful smile and a big heart. When my mother passed away, he was there and Liz, I never forgot that. He will always be fondly remembered with my prayers.

  9. Liz and Family, Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this very difficult time. Phil will be missed by so many people in this community that he has assisted in his years of service with Escanaba Public Safety. I remember Phil’s stories and enjoyed them so much, he always made me laugh. I can’t even imagine the stories you all heard….. Keep them close to your heart. God Bless you.

  10. I have so many dear memories of spending summers at the cabin listening to Uncle Phil’s Stories around the campfire. He was the expert at untangling our fishing lines and always gave the warmest hugs. Everyone in my life called me “ky” but Uncle Phil decided to call me “Lee.” That always made me laugh. We will miss him dearly and always leave his seat open at the campfire. Love, Kylee, John, and Micaiah.

  11. Dearest Liz — After reading the remembrances above, I truly wish that I’d had the opportunity to know Phil. My thoughts are with you and all those who knew and loved Phil.

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