Philip W. Simiele

November 13, 1949March 11, 2019

Philip W. Simiele, age 69 of Watkins Glen, NY passed away Monday, March 11th, 2019 at home surrounded by his loving family and friends following a courageous battle with cancer, which he fought valiantly for four years, beating the odds given to him.

Phil was born on November 13th, 1949 in Sayre, PA the son of the late Margaret Yale and Antonio Simiele. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his step mother, Jane E. Personius Simiele and the mother of his children, Janet Andrews Simiele who was dearly loved. He is survived by his loving daughters, Jennifer (Mark Bush) Tarnoski and Nicole (RJ) West; grandchildren, Andrew and Matthew Tarnoski and Carter and Carlee West; sisters, Charlene Lindgren, Connie Mathews, and Pamela Coghlan; brother, Robert Carl; close family friends, David Bartone and Gordie Perry; as well as many aunts, uncles, cousins and other great friends too numerous to mention.

Following graduation from Watkins Glen High School in 1967, Phil enlisted in the US Marine Corp. serving from 1969 to 1971. He served in Vietnam and was a decorated combat veteran. Phil was a retired NYS Corrections Officer with his last assignment as a drill instructor at Camp Monterey. The impact Phil had on many inmates and fellow Corrections Officers is known throughout the state. He was featured in articles in the NY Times and the national news for his assistance in implementing Shock Camp Programs. Phil was an avid NY Yankee Fan, enjoyed all sports including playing golf and fishing. He was an active communicant of St. Mary's of the Lake Church, where he served as an usher, assisted with many administrative duties, as well as, participating faithfully with the Resurrection Choir. He was well known around Watkins Glen for his daily walks thru the village. His most important drive for life was his four grandchildren who he couldn't seem to spend enough time with. Phil was known as "PAPA" to many other children and family friends, as well.

Phil's family wishes to extend a heart felt appreciation to the Cayuga Medical Center's Oncology Dept.

Friends and family may call from 9am to 11am on Saturday, March 16th, 2019 at the Link at St. Mary's of the Lake Church, 905 Decatur St., Watkins Glen, NY 14891. A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at the church following at 11am. Interment will be at Holy Cross Cemetery Watkins Glen. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Phil's memory to St. Mary's of the Lake Church, PO Box 289, Watkins Glen, NY 14891.

Fond memories, photos and stories may be shared with his family and friends at Semper Fi, Phil


  • St. Mary's of the Lake Church


  • Calling Hours

    Saturday, March 16, 2019

  • Memorial Mass

    Saturday, March 16, 2019


Philip W. Simiele

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Thomas Thompson

April 1, 2019

Phil and I met at the NY State Police academy Nov.16,1972...We were Correction Officers...we lived together sharing houses with others...we shared many good times...I learned a lot from Phil...I will never forget Phil and Janet...RIP Semper Fi

Frankie, Robin, Bella and Giuseppe La Face

March 24, 2019

Philip, It has been 13-days since God called you home. Our hearts are broken, as we so miss you. We are incredibly grateful for all of the beautiful memories you left us with. ♡
Thank you for showing us what it looks like to live every day loving God, and doing all things for the glory of God. You saw Him, every single day, in everything you did. You saw His love in the sweet moments, as well as through the unimaginable challenges of cancer. You continually praised Him in every storm. As we were brought to our knees praying for your miracle, you remained steadfast in your faith; never wavering, never becoming angry, or wanting to give up. Instead, you gave it to God, as you continued to let His light shine through you. You smiled through the pain, found humor, and continued to reach out to lighten the load others were carrying. You lived life beautifully!
We are comforted in knowing you are very much alive in Heaven, where all of the pain and the struggles you endured on Earth, no longer exist. We look forward to the day when we will see you once again.
We have played your song, "Well Done" by the Afters, again and again. It brings us a wonderful sense of peace. "You have won the race and now you're home. Welcome to the place where you belong. Well done...good and faithful one."
You remain forever in our hearts. We love you!

Robert (Turk) Kerr

March 24, 2019

I loved playing basketball with Phil. He was a great competitor and a better friend. He will be missed by all the guys from Attica. Rest in peace Phillip.

Christina Wren

March 18, 2019

We are so sorry for your loss. It was always a joy being greeted by Phil (or Mr. Phil as my daughter referred to him as) at the door of church every Sunday morning. We had been missing him and knew it wasn't good because he never missed a week! We are all very saddened and will miss him dearly! He was so great with our daughter and they had a very special bond. I will personally miss his hugs as he dismissed our pew for communion. Rest in Peace, Phil!

Giuseppe La Face

March 17, 2019

"My minds still talks to you and my heart still looks for you. But my soul knows that you are at peace. "

You were my BEST BEST pal! I can't wait to see you again in heaven. We will have a great hug, and we will share stories and laugh together. I keep looking up at heaven. Everytime I see the sun shine down on me I know you are smiling. That makes me feel so happy! I miss you so much, and I love you so much pal! I imagine it is amazing to stand before the face of God! Please watch over Christian for us.

I love you forever and always!
Your pal Giuseppe ♡♡♡♡♡

tami cooper

March 17, 2019

Phil will be missed by all of us at St Marys . His handshake at Mass and hugs .Despite his illness he came to mass witha smile . To me he was a man with great Faith and respect . I will truly miss seeing him at Mass and also walking in town. I am so sorry for the loss to all his family and friends


March 15, 2019

Charlene-Jennifer-Nicole--We are so sorry for Phils passing! We have known each other since 1973, weddings, kids, jobs, miss just talking and catching up on family news. I hope maybe this summer we could get together and visit. please take care and be well. My cell # 607 426 0093 sheree&rick

Sam Carrigan

March 14, 2019

RIP. Marine! Semper Fi! It was an honor and pleasure working with you as well as getting to know you.You were an inspiration to me along with many other employees at Monterey. I continue on from your knowledge with training the fire recruits in military bearing, discipline and above all motivation. Hopefully you are looking down on me with a smile. God Bless!

Sarah Chamberlain

March 13, 2019

Phil was lots of fun - we shared a birthday - we always called each other on that “special day” and once I moved to DC we kept up the tradition for years - Phil you will be missed and November 13 will never be the same - RIP

John Adesso

March 13, 2019

I can't tell you how sorry I am about hearing of Philip's passing. I am heartbroken knowing that my good buddy is really gone. Philip and I have been good friends for as long as I can remember. In fact, I can't remember when he and I became close friends. It just seems that that's the way it always was. He and I were always together during those elementary and high school days. I can't tell you the number of times I slept over at the apartment on Franklin Street, next to the Tasty Freeze. It became so common that both Jane and Tony thought they were raising another child. And in someway they were.

Philip spent a great deal of time at my house, too. In fact, when he would stay at my house, my mother brought out her best goodies. We ate home made cookies, chumbella cake, etc. Philip couldn't get enough of her cake. Truth be told, that's why I would invite him over so much. LOL

Unfortunately, we drifted apart after school. I went on to college and he went to serve his country. But I tried to keep in touch even from afar. I saw Philip when I came to Watkins for our 50th high school reunion. It was good to see him but he didn't look the same. He tried to put on a good appearance but we both knew he was very sick.
Over the last year and a half we texted each other, frequently. He would tell me what was going on in his world and I would do the same. He spoke a lot about his grandchildren, they were his entire world. They are what kept him together. I honestly thought that those kids would be the medicine he needed to keep going. And in some ways they were.

I'll never forget him. The fond memories I have of him are forever etched in my mind.

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