Phillip Jon Nicolai

March 14, 1946 ~ June 5, 2021 (age 75)


Phil was a Renaissance man who loved knowledge in all forms - history, science, music, art, theater, literature.  He was most at home listening to Sunday Morning Baroque on KING FM, drinking a cup of coffee and reading the Seattle Times.   He was a fantastic and fun-loving husband, father, grandfather and friend.  He loved to putter, brew beer, make wine, put up jams, invent, laugh, tell stories, go on adventures, travel and explore.   We lost a wonderful man to metastatic melanoma after a 2 year battle against the disease, including 11 months on a partially successful clinical trial.  We will miss him so much.


Born in Willmar, Minnesota, Phil was raised on the family farm in Hector.  After a stint in the Air Force, he attended law school at the University of Minnesota and moved to Seattle after graduation.  He worked at the State legislature, as counsel for Associated General Contractors, in private practice, at the Port of Seattle Marine Division and at US Bank, specializing in real estate transactions.  Phil and Joanne married in 1983, moving to Vashon permanently in 1984, where they raised their two sons, Chris and Michael.


Becoming a stay-at-home dad,  Phil took on jobs that ranged from mine safety officer to truck driver to school bus driver, and taught robotics to Michael's 5th grade class at Chautauqua.  He was awarded a Hero Award in 1996 by the American Red Cross Seattle-King County Chapter, for saving the lives of 3 people from drowning off Dolphin Point.  He will always be our hero.


Phil is survived by his wife Joanne, his children Michael, Chris and wife Katey, his grandchildren Henry and Lily, his 3 brothers and extended family.  Thanks go to the doctors, nurses and staff at Kaiser Permanente Capital Hill, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, and Providence Hospice.  A celebration of Phil's life will be announced at a later date.



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