Peter Pham

February 1, 1986February 6, 2019
Play Tribute Movie

Peter Pham was born on Feb 1st, 1986 in Bien Hoa, Vietnam. His parents are Lo Pham and Lien Nguyen. He is the youngest of 4 children. Peter immigrated to the United States with his family in 1992. Shortly after, he joined the Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth Movement (TNTT) through church, which became an important part of his life. He eventually trained to become a youth leader or Huynh Truong in the organization; and it was there that he met his wife, Jenny Bui. Through his humor and kindness, they became friends over the next three years and began dating for another six years. Peter and Jenny married on August 8, 2009 and have built a wonderful family together. They have been blessed with four beautiful children, Elijah (6), Joshua (4), Tobi (2), and Ellie (1).

Peter graduated from the University of Washington with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and master’s degree in education. He was a beloved math teacher at Mercer Middle School and Newport High School. He cared deeply for his students and worked tirelessly to help them succeed. He was patient, kind, funny, and had a way of connecting with his students. He always pushed his students to do better and be better. He was truly Mr. Phamtastic.

Peter had many interests including computers, cooking, chess, and foosball. He was also a talented basketball player. He enjoyed going to different restaurants and trying new cuisines and drinks. He was a great thinker – logical and reasonable.

Peter’s battle with liver cancer started September 17th and he bravely faced each surgery, hospital stay, urgent care visit, and the constant pain. He never gave up hope and trusted everything in God’s hands.

Peter’s wish is for everyone to remember him as a dedicated and loving husband and father. He loved Jenny whole-heartedly and never ceased to show his love for her. He would always make his family laugh with his sense of humor and always knew the right things to say. He enjoyed playing games with his kids and teaching them to love one another.

His parting words to his wife: “There’s nothing in this world you can’t do, no feat too big for you to handle. Believe in you like I have these past 9/10 years. I know God believes in you too and that’s why He has given you this next challenge in life. Stay strong like you always have been; everything is in His plan. You’ll get through all this. Believe in yourself. Believe in me. Believe in God. I love you.”


  • Viewing Thursday, February 14, 2019
  • Mass Saturday, February 16, 2019
  • Committal Service Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Peter Pham

have a memory or condolence to add?

Tetiana Mountha

February 12, 2019

Mr. Pham was my favorite teacher in middle school.

He was always there for his students. He went above and beyond everyday, always gave me food or water and made me feel safe and I looked forward to his classes. His sense of humor always made my day and I'm so thankful for all he's done for me. I'll always remember Pi Days, the days where I went in for extra help and he made sure I understood every topic, the little chats we had about my family because he always checked in. The funny stories he told about his life, his little motivational speeches he made to me every now and then, and the amount of effort he put in to near perfect attendance because he knew we needed him, and he was just that good of a person so he tried to be there.

He was a teacher who genuinely cared for his job, his students, and our futures. He was a motivator. I speak for my whole family when I say thank you Mr. Pham, for everything. Rest In Peace.

Kamilah Abdul-Alim

February 11, 2019

Mr. Pham taught our son Amir for 7th and 8th grade math. What we really appreciated about him was that he pushed Amir to achieve beyond what Amir thought he could do. Amir has a true love for math and problem solving even now (as an 11th grader) because of the joy Mr. Pham brought to his teaching. Mr. Pham also held Amir accountable when he got off track in class. He will be missed dearly.

The Abdul-Alims
San Diego, CA

Leo Purcell

February 11, 2019

Mr. Pham was the teacher that eased the difficulties of middle school for so many kids. He was more than a fantastic math teacher- and he was absolutely fantastic, and changed not just my feelings on learning but so many of my classmates as well- but he was a friend and a trusted haven for a lot of kids who needed a smile and a cup of coffee. My heart to his family and loved ones, he will be missed dearly and remembered with love.

Chris Carter

February 10, 2019

Peter was a former student at Mercer Middle School. Then, we were fortunate to have him return and teach math for a few years. It was a kick having a former student return to teach at his middle school.

Peter was always so kind, fun loving, and had amazing ideas and techniques to connect with his students. Peter's classroom was out on the east side of our school in the 400 portables. It was a post WWII style portable with an oil furnace on the inside and a small porch on the outside. One of the things Peter would do for fun is barbecue on the front porch or have some lemonade when the weather was warmer. He was great at bringing people together. When he and his family bought their first home, Peter and I would talk about ideas he as thinking of doing with his yard. Peter was a proud husband and father. He was an amazing teacher and a delightful young man.

We will miss Peter greatly.

Ina Hong

February 9, 2019

Mr. Pham was, and still is one of the best math teachers I've ever had. I had him for two years in middle school, and I remember how freaked out I would get in class when he called on me to answer a question. Even though I hated it, it helped me become a better student. He knew how to connect with his students and challenge them to become better thinkers. I will always remember him fondly.

P.S. Sorry for drinking all of your coffee :)

TaJa Burkett

February 9, 2019

He was one of the most hilarious teachers I had. But he could be very strict within a blink of an eye. Not only did he teach me a lot about math, he taught me a lot about life and how important it should be to me. If it wasn’t for him, I probably wouldn’t be in school today. One of my favorite moments is when I finally graduated from Mercer and finally made it to high school. I would come as much as I could after school to see my old middle school teachers. I would walk into his portable and he’s mouth would drop open with a gasp without fail and he would shout my name in a funny way as I entered “ITS TAAAJJJAAA”. We’d sit there, Id eat his classroom Candy(he’d always offer me pretzels lol), and we’d have talks about his life and family. I’ll forever cherish these moments! Thank you Mr. Pham, for everything. I’ll miss you. Forever and always💕

Tony Yuan

February 9, 2019

The atmosphere that you created in your classroom made learning easy. How your portable became a hangout spot for people to play cards, and you would dominate us with your card counting. The things that you taught me that still lingers in my mind today. You have made an impact greater than any other teacher has made in my life.

When you wrote Euler's identity on the pages of my yearbook I didn't know what it meant. When you spoke about your aspirations of being a mathematician, but ultimately choosing to become a teacher, you made me realize the sacrifices that you made to educate the future. You inspired me and many others; you recognized the potential in youth. You dedicated yourself to teaching mischevious teenagers in middle school, and for that, I am forever grateful.

Thank you, Mr. Phamtastic. You might've only been a teacher at school, but you're a mathematician in all of our hearts.

Rest in Peace.

Anita Pham

February 9, 2019

Mr.Pham was such an influential and significant role model in my life. He made me feel welcomed in a place where I felt a little lost. He always welcomed me and we connected in a way that no other student and teacher would. A smile would never leave his face and he always cracked jokes.

I remember in middle school where people actually thought Mr.Pham was my dad because our last names so we put a little fun in it and he referred to me as his “daughter”. That brought us closer together and he was one of the reasons why I went back to visit Mercer. Even though he moved and started teaching at another school, my friends and I still put in the effort to hang out with him years after. And I’m glad we did so. We’ve made so much memories and those will always fulfill my thoughts.

Thank you for everything, Mr.Pham. You are always in my thoughts.

Laila Pajimula

February 9, 2019

I remember being in Mr. Pham’s geometry class like it was yesterday. He would write notes under the document camera with different colored Sharpie pens. I can still remember the way he wrote; lightly, neat, and without a doubt full of knowledge. Sharpie pens will forever be associated with him. Whenever a student asked for the answer, he would laugh and point to the large student-made poster on the wall saying “It’s not about the answer, It’s about the process.” He made our class repeat this in unison so many times. This quote would become such an influential part of my life and of the students who had him. Mr. Pham was the most caring teacher and he taught all of us more than just math. I wish I could thank him again. Rest easy, Mr. Pham, I can assure you we are focused on the process.

Yuhaniz Aly

February 9, 2019

Mr. Pham was one of the best teachers I've ever had in my life. He was the definition of "phamtastic." His door was always open for students to come in, literally. From the early mornings to after-school, to even texting him homework problem questions from an unknown number, he was always there to help me. His knowledge and passion for teaching encouraged me to endure math and have patience. Mr. Pham was kind, funny, and enthusiastic. Many students, including myself, would hang out in his portable classroom during lunch because he was such a welcoming person. I felt that many students were able to connect with him. Sure, the math content was tough and all, but when you have a great teacher like Mr. Pham, everything was so much better.
I wanted to express my gratitude towards Mr. Pham. For the huge influence, he had on me and for all great time and memories that I had with him. Mr. Pham, thank you for everything you’ve given me and for all your students. And may you rest in peace.