We would like to paint a picture to remind you of the incredible man we all knew Phil to be. We urge you to remember the passion and vitality that he exuded, and the significant contributions he made to his life-long community in Boise and beyond.
Above all else, Phil was a deeply sensitive, creative, and passionate artist. These traits are expressed through unique facets in each of his kids, who he believed to be the greatest legacy he would leave behind. In the end, life was unkind, yet the strength of his spirit was clearly evidenced by his unwavering faith in hope, love, beauty, and the belief that things would always get better. We only have to get through this moment, he said. He believed this to the bitter end. He was truly a dreamer.
As a spiritual man, he believed that souls travel in packs. He said his children were his soul mates and that they had done this together for many lifetimes already, that this would not be the last. But as the story of this lifetime has come to an end, we will keep him close in memory and heart.
We will remember his wry and inappropriate sense of humor, his courage to laugh instead of cry, and his desire to spread joy. We’ll remember his brilliant mind and nimble hands, which he used to exert his beautiful artistry and exceptional craftsmanship on the world. He took pride in all he did, a perfectionist to his very core. His ability to learn and execute anything he put his mind to was unmatched, whether it was building balloon baskets, restoring a boat, or his extensive portfolio of artwork: screen printing, painting, watercolor, stained glass. There wasn’t anything he attempted that he didn’t excel at. He often reminded his children to be sure to “doodle” every day, whether it was through art, writing or music.
We will remember long drives filled with amazing music played far too loud, him singing along and changing the lyrics to make everyone laugh. Kenny Loggins, Queen, Beth Hart, Barenaked Ladies, Dear Evan Hansen and so much more will always be heavy with his memory for his kids. We will remember evenings spent gathered in the kitchen watching skillful hands prepare delicious meals, letting us taste the process but never lend a hand. We will remember neon lights and penguin trees, conversations by the fire until every hour of the night, early mornings chasing balloons, the smell of too-big leather gloves and tall americanos with a little bit of ice.
We will remember how he was his kids’ biggest fan, encouraging and believing in them no matter what life threw their way, and the pride with which he talked about them to everyone he knew. We will remember him for being a cycle breaker and for giving so much more to others than life ever gave to him. He did so gladly and without hesitation because his loyalty and friendship was limitless and unconditional. We will remember his self-reliant, stubborn yet determined attitude, along with the colorful ways in which he expressed himself. He was a student of life and philosopher in his own right, always learning and sharing his knowledge, experience and advice. He was a helper, a hard worker and forever optimist; a teacher, a great conversationalist, and an adventure seeker - always intent on living a great story.
Most importantly, we can't remember Phil Archey without remembering his need to fly. To reach higher heights by any means necessary. To feel the wind on his cheeks and freedom in his soul. He taught us so much about true love. The truest love of his life was flight. It isn't a coincidence that his health declined once he was grounded.
We would like to end with a quote from the book Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach - a book we encourage all to read and think fondly of him.
"Seagulls, as you know, never falter, never stall. To stall in the air is for them disgrace and it is dishonor.
But Jonathan Livingston Seagull, unashamed, stretching his wings again in that trembling and hard curve - slowing, slowing, and stalling once more - was no ordinary bird.
Most gulls don't bother to learn more than the simple facts of flight - how to get from shore to food and back again. For most gulls, it is not flying that matters, but eating. For this gull, though, it was not eating that mattered, but flight."
Thank you for having the courage to truly learn to fly, and to show the rest of us that it is possible. Sunshine and blue skies from now on. We love you forever.