Phillip ‘Phil’ Emil Brodeur left his home here on Earth and was called home to Jesus on Sept. 12, 2017. He was 82 years young. He was born in Joliette, North Dakota, one of 11, where faith, family and the farm were the way of life.
After spending time in the seminary, Phil joined the Air Force in 1956 at the age of 17. While stationed in Athens, Greece, in 1958, he met a beautiful Greek woman, Parthena (Nitsa), whom he pursued despite the language barrier, until she agreed to marry him. Being married for 58 years, he often stated how he “didn’t remember life without her.” You could often find him in the kitchen, fixing her a cup of tea, or on the barbecue, grilling up her favorite fish.
Rooted deeply in their faith, Phil and Nitsa were blessed with three children, Anna, Lisa and Paul. Phil truly lived for their weekly (if not daily) visits and phone calls. He was the spiritual rock of their family.
While in the USAF, MSgt. Brodeur specialized in aircraft maintenance. He worked on “anything that had propellers.” He served in both Vietnam and the Korean War. After his 23-year military career, Phil ran his own hydraulic business, then became a Maintenance Supervisor at American Home Foods. After retiring from AHF, he started his own small handyman business, Phil’s Home Repair, as his hands were unable to go idle. Even after fully retiring, Phil continued tinkering with things that were broken and brought to him, often repairing them better than their original state.
Phillip, a fourth-degree knight in the Knights of Columbus, was active in the Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish, serving as both lay Eucharistic Minister and usher. He was known by all parishioners for the pew in which he sat, a direct view of our Lord Jesus in the sacrament of the Eucharist. He was always (in his words) “talking to the Lord.” He graciously thanked God for every miracle and blessing bestowed, and no matter the circumstance, prayed his rosary each night. Phillip’s greatest joy after Jesus was his family, and his love for mankind by his willingness to help anyone in need. All who entered his home were welcomed like family, and we all will sorely miss the greeting he gave when we walked through the door. He enjoyed barbecuing, tending to his garden and “occasionally” feeding his fish. He loved singing, cracking jokes, Wednesdays at Cache Creek with Nitsa, FaceTiming his brothers and sisters and eating biscuits and gravy for breakfast.
He is survived by his loving wife, Nitsa of Fairfield, California; three children, Anna Rodgers and husband, Doug of Vacaville, California, Lisa Brodeur of Vacaville, California, and Paul Brodeur and his wife, Jennifer of Ashby, of Massachusetts; eight grandchildren, Kevin (Leigh), Jamie (Stephen), Phillip (Mandi), Daniel, Nicole, Gabriella, Ryan and Carolyn; and seven great-grandchildren, Dominic, Lilli, Mason, Oliver, Hunter, Noah and Samuel (Papa was their prayer warrior!); and his siblings, Bob, MaryJean, Mae and Helen, he loved talking to them every chance he got.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Dora; his brothers, Larry, Paul, Edward, Peter; and his sister, Theresa.
Visitation will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. with the rosary at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017, at Bryan-Braker Funeral Home, 1850 W. Texas St., Fairfield, California. A Catholic Mass will be at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, at Our Lady of Mount Carmel, 2700 Dover Ave., Fairfield, California. Followed by interment at 1:30 p.m. at Sacramento Valley National Cemetery, 5810 Midway Road Dixon, California.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to his parish, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, 2700 Dover Ave., Fairfield, CA 94533 or his wife Nitsa’s parish, Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church, 1224 Alabama St., Vallejo, CA 94590.
Arrangements under the care of Bryan-Braker, 707-425-4697, www.bryanbraker.com.