Philip S. Blanck, 59, of Rockford, passed away on Friday, October 5, 2018. He was born on September 2, 1959, the son of Ralph and Ann (Rich) Blanck. Phil attended Rockford Jefferson High School and went on to join the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Union (IBEW), Local #196 as an Electrical Construction Heavy Equipment Operator, where he gave 40 years of service and loved his career. Phil took pride in saying, there was no piece of equipment he couldn’t operate from skid steers, cats, and bulldozers to large cranes. Phil began his interest in heavy equipment while driving the tractors on the family farm.
The Blanck’s were a close family and Phil shared a special relationship with his parents and each of his four siblings. He looked up to his older brother, John and valued his wisdom and guidance. His sister, Colleen was always a caring second mother to him. His sister, Kathie shared Phil’s love of nature and the great northern woods. Kathie’s husband, Steve was like a brother to Phil. His youngest brother, Jeff shared his passion for muskie fishing and was his fishing buddy.
While Phil was a young teen living with his family on their Blackhawk Road farm, he first met Kathy Pryor, who lived across the street and attended Jefferson High School with him. Forty years later, Phil reunited with Kathy, and the two of them shared a lifetime of happiness and many traveling adventures together. In June of this year, Phil proposed to Kathy on a glacier in Alaska via a helicopter flight. Phil was a man with a tremendous sense of adventure and a huge giving heart, who lived his life to the fullest.
Phil was also an avid animal lover, from his farm animals as a child, to his beloved canine kids, to wild animals of every species. Phil enjoyed seeing the black bears, deer, and eagles of the northern woods, the sea lions and elephant seals in California, the elk and bison of Yellowstone Park, and the dolphins of Hawaii, to the grizzlies, moose, caribou and especially the humpback whales of Alaska.
The Blanck family owned a log cabin vacation home in St. Germain, where Phil began his lifelong sport of muskie fishing. He fished for muskie in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Canada. His largest catch on record was a 55 incher, but his total catch of the monster muskie fish was over 150 throughout his fishing career. Phil was a longtime member of the Flatlanders Chapter of Muskies, Inc.
Phil’s career, fishing, traveling, and adventures occupied a great share of his life, but his pride and joy in later years was definitely his 5 year old granddaughter, Addison. Together the two of them, with Phil’s joy and enthusiasm for life and Addi’s desire for fun, would fill the house with laughter. Papa Phil, you will be missed.
One of Phil’s favorite lines was from his favorite movie, Jeremiah Johnson “You’ve come far, pilgrim.” He replied, “Feels like far.” Phil fought a good fight at the end of his life. Rest in peace, our Heavenly Angel.
Phil is survived by his fiance, Kathy Morton; brothers, John (Mary) Blanck, Jeff (Barbara ) Blanck; sisters, Colleen Pete, Kathie (Steve) Turner; step-children, Matthew (Brittany) Sullivan, Katie Sullivan; granddaughter, Addison Adolphson; in-laws, Leon and Anita Pryor; nephews, Benjamin Blanck, Dustin (Danielle) Turner, Cody (Allison) Turner, Daniel Blanck, and Michael Pete; nieces, Elizabeth (Joel) Reed, and Brianne (Ray) Judd. Predeceased by parents, Ralph and Ann Blanck.
A Visitation will be from 11:00am to 1:00pm with a Memorial Service at 1:00pm on Sunday, October 14, 2018 in Honquest Family Funeral Home with Crematory, Mulford Chapel, 4311 N. Mulford Road, Loves Park, 61111. In lieu of flowers, memorials to African Wildlife Foundation.
Donations may be made to:
African Wildlife Foundation