Philip C. Cheevers

Philip C. Cheevers

July 3, 1927 – May 28, 2020

It was a hot day on July 3rd 1927 when Phil was born at home on the kitchen table in a cold water flat on East 85th Street in New York city, a city that was never far from who he was and the lasting impact he had on everyone in his long life.

Phil loved life and all the people he met and immediately charmed over his 92 years. His grew up in the city and the Bronx during the greatest age in baseball. A lifelong Yankee fan, he saw Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig play. He loved  Joe DiMaggio and his formidable outfield team mates Charlie Keller and Tommy Heinrich.

When the second World War called, he mis-represented his age, as many did at the time, and joined the Navy though underage, to serve in the Pacific in the Philippines.

After the war, while working as a stock boy at B. Altmans, he began dating  a young woman named Betty Johnson, a younger, sophisticated Manhattanite, unlike any girl he  had ever met. On a date at PJ Clarke’s on 3rd Avenue Betty put La Vie En Rose on the juke box and came back to the table singing it to Phil in French. They were married for 59 years.

In the early sixties Phil and Betty were active in the Christian Family Movement (CFM) and  Phil was active in the Our Lady of Victories in Harrington Park as lector, CCD teacher, usher, volunteer, and parish council member.

During his long and distinguished career in direct marketing  he was the recipient of a Direct Marketing Association Silver Apple “Lifetime Achievement Award.”

He is predeceased by his wife Betty, who passed away in 2010.

Phil is survived by his older sister Kay Kondrat, five grown children, their spouses and 16 grand children: Phil Jr, wife Deborah and son Jackson, Anthony Cheevers, wife Melissa, daughters Alison and Emma and step-son Alex, Mary Elizabeth Cheevers ( Betsy) husband Jeff, son Daniel Wypler and wife Caitlin, daughter Jaclyn Wypler, son John Cheevers, wife Kim, sons Theo and Evan, daughters Madeline and Margeaux and Chris and Tara Cheevers with sons Joseph, and Owen and daughters Avery, Katie and Kiersten in addition to nephew Michael Kondrat and niece Carol Laspina, cousins, family friends and others whose lives he brightened.

Wherever he went and whomever he met in life they could be sure to be greeted with a big hello, a line from a song or a hearty “the Lord Be with You!” He brought a smile to everyone whenever he came into the room.

God bless you Dad you were an amazing father to us all, and to many others. Please give our love to Betty. We miss you both.

Donations in his memory can be made by over-tipping your waitress, waiter or bartender someday when you are out having a special fun time with people you love.


  1. MaryLynn Poin

    Awwwwww, this is lovely…. what a guy, what a husband, what a Dad, what a character!!
    And having been at the table at a few restaurants with Big Phil, I will gladly overtip the wait staff in his honor….. Rest in peace Big Phil and kiss Betty for us….
    The Poins

  2. I was not fortunate enough to me Phil senior, but I have known Phil Jr. for many years. Phil Jr. had always spoken well about his dad. Phil Jr. and family are wonderful people a very special family. My heart goes out to all of the family and want them to know that I will do anything to help if and when needed

  3. Arlene Minick

    “Cheery Cheevers” was one of the most personable people I have ever met. He was a breath of sunshine that always made you laugh. I first met Cheevers (as we would lovingly call him) early on in my career as a direct marketing manager. Over the years, through business conferences and office visits, and many, many drinks, we got to know one another – and he would talk most fondly of Betty and his five children. As husband and father, he was so proud of them all. There are dozens and dozens of stories I can tell of the laugher I and others have shared with him. He was a remarkable person in so many ways, but mostly, he brought joy to us all. He will be greatly missed. My deepest sympathy and condolences to his family whom he truly loved.

  4. Aunt Kay

    This is so great. Loved reading it. The service today was beautiful. I felt like I was there. You were a good son. And now you are no longer on my lists as Young Phil. You have reached the status of being Phil. So much of him is in you. Your Mom and Dad are proudly saying “That’s our Son. “

  5. Rest in Peace Phil. Though I only worked with Phil for a brief time early in my career I consider him a mentor and role model. His easy going manner and the way he could always put a smile on people’s faces still inspires me to this day. I know that his family is comforted in knowing that he loved a full long life and I am sure they have hundreds and hundreds of great memories that will stay with them for a lifetime.

  6. As someone lucky enough to grow up in Harrington Park, I had the pleasure of knowing the Cheevers family. Always laughter, always smiles, and always something crazy going on either a full war basketball game in the driveway or tackle football on the front yard. At the Cheevers house, the doors were alwasy open and we were never turned away no matter what time we banged on the door as kids. Mr Cheevers was a positive presence in town as well as Mrs. Cheevers. Even though I havent seen them since I moved away 30 years ago, its sad to realize that they are both gone from this earth. I have no doubt that he is raising a glass as we speak with a smile reading these kind words. God Bless you both.

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