born November 14, 1937 in Detroit to the late Henry and Leona (Cleyman) VanHollebeke, has passed away peacefully May 3, 2018 with his family by his side. He is survived by his wife of 24 years, Janice (Klee) VanHollebeke; a daughter, Rachelle (William) Pilarski; a son, Philip (Michelle) VanHollebeke; and a grandson, Eric (Kristina) Pilarski. He was a stepfather to John Nowak and Thomas Nowak; and is also survived by grandchildren, Michael Nowak,
Andy (fiancée Ali Haselhuhn) Nowak, Alysa Nowak, Hayley Nowak and Braden Nowak; and great-grandchildren, Cameron and Claire Nowak.
Phil is also survived by his three siblings, Jane (the late George) Forbes, Edward (Susan) VanHollebeke and James (Pam) VanHollebeke; and multiple nieces and nephews.
Phil graduated from Denby High School in Detroit in 1956. After graduation, he enlisted in the United States Army and attended boot camp at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. He remained in Active Reserves after coming back to Michigan, and attended Wayne State University for two years studying business finance while working at St. Paul Insurance Company. He met his first wife Jeannine Strate, the mother of his children, during this time and they were married in January 1959 then moved into their first new home in Warren.
Phil soon moved into a full-time position at St. Paul as a commercial insurance underwriter, and was later offered a travel agent position within the same company. Phil moved his family to Traverse City, in September of 1967, as his sales territory included all of the Upper Peninsula and the northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan. This position often provided him the opportunity for visits to Rogers City, including stops at Presque Isle Agency, Inc. He subsequently became partner of Presque Isle Agency in the summer 1971 and relocated to the Rogers City area the following October. In 1982, Phil purchased the remaining interest in the agency, and remained at the helm until he retired in 2011 after almost
52 years in the insurance business. While living in Rogers City, Phil was a member of the chamber of commerce, Servicemen’s Club, and treasurer of the Lions Club. He was instrumental in building Rogers City Country Club (RCCC) and was one of the original board of directors and also served as the treasurer and president for over 30 years. During that time, he provided steady leadership for RCCC, and oversaw the purchase of an adjacent property, and the design and construction of an additional nine holes. Phil was known for helping people in need whether they were family, friends or anyone who required some business sense, a helping hand or moral support. Perhaps this is a reason he chose insurance as his profession early in life. He enjoyed watching all professional sports, especially the Detroit Tigers. He bowled regularly in two Rogers City leagues and golfed every Wednesday at RCCC in the men’s league. He was also very fond of his summers spent relaxing at the cottage on Grand Lake that he shared with his wife Janice.
Visitation took place at the Beck Funeral Home Tuesday, May 8, with a prayer service that evening. Memorial visitation resumed Wednesday at St. Ignatius Catholic Church until time of his memorial Mass with the Rev. James Fitzpatrick officiating. Rogers City Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 607 offered a military tribute immediately following Mass. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Myeloproliferative Neoplasm Foundation or McLaren Homecare and Hospice.
Online condolences may be addressed through www.beckfuneralhome.org.