Philip Joseph Tanguay

August 11, 1939December 30, 2020

Philip “Joe Pete” Tanguay, 81, of Portland, Maine, passed away peacefully, surrounded by his loved ones, on December 30, 2020. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Patricia Urbano Tanguay; his daughter Jodie Meli and husband Rick of Winter Springs, Florida; daughter Lisa Hanson and husband Chris of Raymond, Maine. He is also survived by six grandchildren: Nicole Pelkey and husband Brandon; Heather Meserve; Jason Melcher and wife Betsy; Joe Melcher and wife Jessica; Kody Meli and wife Tori; and Kayla Meli. He is also survived by eleven great-grandchildren. He is also lovingly remembered by siblings Tom Tanguay and his wife Suzette of Bar Harbor; and Don Tanguay and his wife Joyce of Scarborough. He is predeceased by his parents, Philip and Wilma Tanguay of Portland, Maine; four siblings, Jack, Dick, Polly, Bob; and his beloved daughter Julie.

Philip was born August 11,1939, to Philip and Wilma Locke Tanguay. He spoke lovingly of his childhood, sharing many memories he had as a life-long Portlander growing up in Woodford’s Corner as the self-proclaimed “Stud of the Sawyer Street Gang”.

From an early age, Philip was dedicated to and excelled at sports. He was an outstanding athlete whose talents in baseball and basketball were featured in numerous local papers. A member of the All-Star team, he led his Portland Little League to victory year after year and won several individual awards highlighting him as one of Portland’s youth sports most valuable assets.

Philip was a Deering High School graduate and spent much of his high school career dedicated to pursuing his love of sports. There was only one other thing apart from a basketball that caught Philip’s eye during his time at Deering High: the love of his life, Patricia.

Philip and Patricia started their courtship in 1958, when Patricia was just a junior in high school. He quickly won her over with his heartfelt, silly poems and love letters, and they married just years later on August 12, 1961. Soon after, they were blessed with three beautiful daughters, whom Philip showered with affection and loved tirelessly. Then, and until his last day, his family was his heart and soul.

Apart from his role as a family man, Philip was a dedicated employee of American Can where he worked for thirty years as a mechanic. He also served as an Air National Guard Reservist for four years.

In addition to his dedication to his career and his family, Philip continued to pursue his passion for sports into adulthood, playing for various local organizations such as the Griffin’s Club, Forest Gardens, and Bubbas. He continued to be known as a standout athlete, with much of his success centered around his career as a fast-pitch softball player. He often spoke of his sixteen years as a softball player, with only one losing season. His claim to fame, and favorite story, was his home run hit in 1963 during an exhibition game between the Western Maine All Stars and Eddie Feigner The King and his Court. Philip’s name could be found for years on the wall of the “Greats and Near Greats” at the Griffin Club; and Philip, by all accounts, was one of the greats.

After his retirement at age 52, his life centered around his family. He could often be found outside shooting hoops with his grandsons, Jason and Joe, and the kids of Deering Center. Try as they might, no one could quite perfect the art of the left-handed hook like Philip. As life slowed and his grandchildren grew, Philip took interest in other activities. He loved sharing his scrapbook and reliving his glory days through the art of storytelling, checking his stocks promptly at 6:00 each night, and somehow breaking more computers than most would ever own in a lifetime.

Philip lived a long, happy life full of love and contentment. He was fun-loving and sarcastic, bringing smiles and laughter to those around him. Most importantly, though, Philip was the most compassionate man you could ever meet. He was giving and empathetic, and made the world a better place just by being a part of it. He was loved infinitely and will be missed by all who were lucky enough to know him.

Given the current circumstances, there will be no services at this time. However, Philip was passionate about youth involvement in sports and exra-curricular activities, so, if you would like to honor him at this time, please consider making a donation in Philip’s name to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maine.


Philip Joseph Tanguay

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