September 10, 1948 – November 14, 2021
Philip, a quiet and reserved man, passed peacefully away on a damp, grey Shuswap morning at Shuswap Lake General Hospital. Philip was the third of four children born to Carl and Ida (Dunne) Michaelis in Toronto, Ontario. After graduating with an Honours Degree in Science from the University of Toronto in 1971, Philip headed west to work in the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA) of NW Ontario for the Fisheries Research Board of Canada. This is where he met Sheila (Nuson), who would become his wife. While working and living at the ELA Philip developed a keen interest in Canada’s North.
In 1972 he moved to Yellowknife, NT to continue work with Fisheries, collecting water samples from the main tributaries of the Mackenzie River as part of the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Task Force. Ever the adventurer, this was often accomplished by travelling the length of the Mackenzie River in a 22-foot Chestnut canoe or by flying in and out of sites in a small bush plane.
Sheila and Philip married in 1973 and so ended one young man’s dream of becoming a hermit. They settled in the village of Fort Simpson on the banks of the Mackenzie River. It was here that Philip, always a practical man, completed his Red Seal journeyman’s ticket in carpentry and started his own construction company, leaving a legacy of many homes and commercial buildings in that small community along with a few forest fire look-outs and even a wooden bridge. He was also a dedicated volunteer fireman for fifteen years, many of them as assistant chief. Their son, Tim, arrived in 1981 and life was a contented mix of fishing, camping, gardening and hibernation. Beekeeping became a passion and Philip joined the ranks of the few hobbyists keeping bees north of the 60th parallel.
In 1992, the Michaelis family moved to Salmon Arm, where Philip continued his work in construction. When he retired in 2005 he divided his time between his garden, his ‘girls’ (honey bees), camping and canoeing trips, and the golf course.
Born with a rare form of muscular dystrophy, Philip was fortunate to be able to live a full and active life until his late sixties. However, in the last couple of years this neuromuscular disease had taken an increasing toll on his health and quality of life. Sheila was able to care for him at home as they both wished.
Philip is survived by his wife, Sheila, and son, Tim; brother, Paul (Gail Foy) of Barrie, ON; sister, Linda (Ron) Meredith-Jones of Mississauga, ON; sister, Loralea (Stephen Law) of Sackville, NB; nieces Allison, Sherry and Sarah and nephews Ryan, Sean, Daniel and Theo.
It is so hard to imagine a world without Philip…. He was much loved.
If so desired, donations may be made to Muscular Dystrophy Canada.
A Celebration of Philip’s Life will be held on Thursday, November 25, 2021 at 1:30PM in the Chapel at Bowers Funeral Service 440 10th Street SW, Salmon Arm, BC. Graveside to follow. To access live streaming of the service, or to leave condolences for the family, please visit: https://www. bowersfuneralservice.com/obituary/Philip-Michaelis
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