Phil was a loving husband to Katie, father to Anne René (wife, Kim) and Paul James Kennedy (wife, Kimberly) and grandfather to Corey James (partner, Alexander Jacobs), Kammie Jo and Katie Jo. He is survived by his siblings: Kathleen “Katie” Granger, Clifford Allen “Al” (wife, Cathie) Elsbree and Paul (wife, Madeline) Elsbree.
He was a 1960 graduate of Owego Free Academy. He attended Annapolis Naval Academy. He graduated from Illinois State University with a bachelor’s in teaching in 1964 and a master’d of in counseling in 1965.
It was on Saturday, Aug. 8, 1964 that Phil met his wife, Catherine (Katie) O’ Whalen, in Bloomington, Ill. They wed Jan. 30, 1965.
Phil was an educator for the San Diego court system and community schools from 1972- 1999. In addition to teaching, he worked passionately with his wife, Katie, owning and operating the Elsbree House Bed & Breakfast for 22 years. Phil designed the building of Elsbree House Bed & Breakfast.
Phil was active in his community. He believed in civic duty and gave of his time and money to local organizations seeking social justice. He was elected to the first planning board in Ocean Beach, donated blood monthly and daily cleaned the alleys in Ocean Beach.
He was an avid farmer-gardener and spent numerous hours planting, tilling and weeding the soil in Ocean Beach, as well as on the family’s farm in Dehesa. He consumed books of all types and he cherished the ability to learn. He loved listening to classical and jazz music. One of his favorite past times was to teach family and friends how to make origami cranes, symbolizing peace.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be given to a scholarship in Phil’s name through the nonprofit organization Ocean Beach Dollars for Scholars. All donations are tax deductible. OBDFS is a 501©(3) organization founded in 1986 by Phil and Katie and their Ocean Beach friends.
Donations can be sent to 5054 Narragansett Ave., San Diego, 92107.