Paul Arthur Phillips
Died peacefully Wednesday, July 16, 2008, in Vernon, after a brief battle with cancer.
He was predeceased by his parents Dick and Molly Phillips and his sister Ruth Phillips.
He will be deeply missed by his wife Donna, daughters Erin and Nicole (Dale),
his granddaughters, Lauren, Danika and Holly, his brothers David (Betty) and Rhys
(Tatjana), brother-in-law Gary, sister-in-law Bobby (Ed), nephews and nieces and
many dear friends especially his honourary family Barb, Mike, Eric, Jeanette and
Paul was born November 3rd , 1938, in Hong Kong, the son of missionaries. The
outbreak of war caused them to return to Canada, to Victoria where Paul grew up.
A graduate of Mount View High School in Victoria, Paul enjoyed his 50th high school
reunion in 2006. He graduated with a BSc in Chemistry and an MA in Economics at the University of Saskatchewan.
He obtained his PhD from the London School of Economics in 1967.
A true renaissance man, Paul possessed an incredible variety of passions and gifts. As a scholar and teacher he
wrote numerous books and articles on a signifi cant range of topics including labour economics and labour relations,
Canadian economic history and political economy, comparative economic systems and labour-based economies, and
Yugoslavia and transitional economies. In recent years he has focused much of his work on environmental issues.
He was also a dedicated teacher, taking great satisfaction in working with students and with his colleagues at the
University of Manitoba, where he taught for 34 years and which conferred on him the honour of Professor Emeritus
in 2005. He was also Adjunct Professor of American Studies at the University of Llubljana in Slovenia. Much of
his academic work and his involvement in political and community life was motivated by a deep and passionate
commitment to social justice and a profound commitment to speaking for those who are left out of the economic,
political and social conversation.
He had the same passion for his other interests: singing and acting, sailing, skiing, golfi ng, polo, gardening, cooking,
beer and wine making, design and carpentry. Perhaps his greatest joy, however, came from music. A player of many
instruments, Paul was active in folk music since the early 60’s, sang for thirty years with the Manitoba Opera Chorus
and most recently sang with Aura Chamber Choir and the Vernon Welsh Men’s Choir. So many of his friendships
began with a shared love of music and it was a love he shared with and nurtured in his daughters.
Despite all of his involvement in groups and organizations, Paul was an independent thinker and unafraid to stand
apart from a group. He took risks intellectually and personally and was not afraid to reassess a position. Yet in more
trivial matters like taste in clothes or television shows he could be absolutely dogmatic and opinionated.
He will be remembered by friends and family for his fundamentally kind and generous nature, his great capacity for
friendship and good humour, his dreadful puns, his steadfastness in any commitment, his willingness to stand up for
what he believed was right, his curiosity and wide ranging intellect and his tendency to burst forth in song in just
about any circumstance.
Cremation has taken place. There will be a memorial service Saturday, August 2, 2008 at the Schubert Centre, 3505
30th Avenue, Vernon, at 11:00 AM.
Please, no fl owers. Donations can be made in his name to the BC Cancer Agency, Southern Interior, 399 Royal
Avenue, Kelowna, V1Y 5L3 or the Vernon and District Hospice House, 3506 27th Avenue, Vernon, V1T 1S4.
Arrangements have been entrusted to: Pleasant Valley Funeral Home, 250-542-4333.