Philip Joseph Phimister

August 10, 1953 ~ August 17, 2017

Philip Joseph Phimister, of Vancouver, Washington, went to be with our Lord on August 17, 2017 at the age of 64. A service for Phil will be held on Saturday, September 9th at 10a.m. at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Vancouver, Washington.

Philip was born on August 10, 1953 in Portland, OR to Charles William and Jean Audrey Phimister. He grew up in Camas, WA and attended Camas High School where he was an outstanding athlete. In 1973, he met Teresa Hamrick whom he married later that year.

Philip joined the Air Force in 1973 and served for four years. Afterward, he graduated from Clark College and Central Washington University where he continued his running career and earned his teaching degree. He spent his 32 year career teaching and coaching, mostly at Prairie High School. He had a gift and a passion for working with young people, and in his life he touched the lives of many of his students and athletes.

Philip is survived by his wife of 43 years, Teresa; daughters, Amy (Ian) Campbell and Molly (Buck) Taylor; precious granddaughter, Plum Andrea Rose Taylor; and siblings, Jennifer Hoskins, John Phimister, Mark Phimister, Peggy Hoskins, and Tom Phimister. He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Jean.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Phil's name to a charity of your choice. Please consider a charity that supports student athletes or people struggling with mental illness.

Please sign Philip's Guest Book at
Published by The Columbian on Sep. 3, 2017.
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8 Entries
First of all, Terri, Molly and Amy. I am so sorry for your loss. I feel I lost a family member from our wonderful running community.
So this would be about 40 years (as well as my two brothers, Mike and Gary and my mom and dad also knew Phil ) have known Phil. I grew up around Phil. I knew him as a friend, coach to me at one time, competing coach at the high schools that I coached at. This is a devastating loss to me and everyone that knew Phil.
The first time a met Phil was when I was about 14 years old. At that time, I believe he was still competing and going to school at Central Washington University. I was impressed as to how good he was as a runner. He noticed that I may have some talent as a runner and always talked to me and gave me advice along the way( He was one of the faster 10ks at the D-2 college level nationally. He is still ranked at one of the all-time fastest 10ks every at Central Washington).
As I grew going into Junior High at Shumway in Vancouver, I continued to get to know Phil much better. He ran for Clark College and worked out at the old Hudson's Bay cinder track. He continued to talk to me about how good he thought I could be as a runner and it sparked a fire that sent me into a very successful running career for a number of years.
When he moved back to the Vancouver area ( after teaching in Kalama) I would see him very regularly at the Hudson's Bay track where he would work out and study my running a little better. I picked up a lot of advice and information from him. He truly cared about my success.
I continued my running career into college. When I came home Phil would make a point to come up to me when I was home on breaks congratulating and encourage me to go beyond myself to enter the elite level of competition. It was always a boost for me.
After I got out of college I competed for the Nike Portland team. Phil was getting into coaching and saw the need to coach me and some other very elite cross country runners to go to the US championships in San Francisco. It was a great experience and I learned a lot from him as a future coach.
I was a coach at Hudson's Bay and Camas for cross country and track. My teams competed against Phil's team at Prairie High School. I continued to pick up some good tips from Phil about training high school runners.
After I got out of coaching, I would still see Phil coaching for Prairie and then simply watching the XC and Track Meets for fun. He also noticed the potential my son Sam had last year as he competed for middle school XC and track just like he did with Shane my older son.
I will truly miss Phil in so many ways; his great passion for the sports of Cross country and track, his willingness to always help out the running family (CCRC) for many years, the way he cared so deeply for the athletes he coached, and the love of his running family the Clark County running club.
Phil touched many lives in so many ways (hundreds for students/athletes) and others. His legacy will never be forgotten.
Much love.
Sherrie Crang-Geiger
Sherrie Crang-Geiger
September 7, 2017
Karen and I are sending thoughts to you and the girls.
Jackie McReynolds
September 7, 2017
I worked with Phil at Prairie High School for many years. He was tirelessly dedicated to his students and runners. Always a positive influence around campus. He will be missed by colleagues, students,and athletes that he worked with over the years. The real unfortunate are those athletes that didn't have the chance to run for Coach Phil or be inspired to take on the challenge of running.They will never know what they missed.
Don Freeman
September 4, 2017
Steve and I are so sorry for your loss. You had so many years together and we hope you can take comfort in all the memories.
June Canty and Steve Sylvester
September 3, 2017
RIP my coach.
Bryce Bradford
September 3, 2017
Deeply sad to hear of Phil passing. Charlie has wonderful memories of their friendship that started in High School and continued throughout the years. Our deepest condolences to Terri, Amy and Molly. You are all in our thoughts and prayers. Sincerely,
Cindy and Charlie Metz
Cindy and Charlie Metz
August 30, 2017
I knew Phil as a co-worker/friend at Prairie High School. I was his Para in his class for over 6 years! He was an excellent teacher and so dedicated to his job, and coaching! He will truly be missed! He was a wonderful person to Know! I was so sad when another co-worker told me the other day! I send Condolences to the family! With prayers for comfort! Love and hugs to all! I will miss you Mr. Phimister! Xxxooo He was a great all around person!
Joyce Ashby
Joyce Ashby
August 25, 2017
I am sorry to hear about Phil. M heart is with you at this difficult time. I totally understand how you feel. It is a tragic loss! Please feel free to call me. I can give you some thoughts on how to deal with the loss. Sometimes it is easier to talk with someone that isn't a family member. Sincerely sad for you and your family.
Renae Hamel
Renae Hamel
August 24, 2017
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