Phil Ochs

May 3, 1945September 29, 2020
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Passed away peacefully in his home on Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at the age of 75, surrounded by his loved ones. Beloved husband of Diane (nee McCready), loving father to daughters Julie Bastien (Jeff), Katherine Lessard (Brad). Cherished papa to granddaughter Taylor and step-grandchildren Jen (Mike) and Dion. Phil was the son of the late Katharina and Jakob Ochs, and dear brother to Jack (Mary Jane) and John, both of Windsor. Phil was also brother-in-law to Doug and Mary Lynn McCready of Richmond Hill. Phil was a loving and respected uncle of Shelley, Dave, Bryan, Mark, Trevor, Sterling and Heather. Many cousins mourn his loss in Canada, the United States and Germany. Phil was a proud member of First Lutheran Church Windsor, and was a founding member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Amherstburg, serving both congregations as president and in many other capacities, but most importantly, Phil was a member of the family of God. Phil influenced a great many young people during a 30-year career as a teacher, librarian and coach at Malden Central Public School and Colchester North Public School. His retirement was filled to overflowing with activities he loved – sports, volunteering, travelling, music, family and friends – both in Windsor and in Florida. Phil loved playing ball (both baseball and volleyball) and being a part of the WECSSO organization for 20 years. He was a dedicated WECSSO Executive member, having served on the Marketing Committee, Charity Committee and their Annual Remembrance Memorial Committee. He played in the Blue Division and served as a manager for a number of years. Phil was an avid photographer, and could always be found with a camera in hand – he was very talented. Phil also loved spending time volunteering at the Mission Thrift Store because he wanted to spread God's love to everyone. Phil was a genuine, caring and sincere person whose friendship was treasured by many. The family would like to genuinely thank all those who helped care for Phil in his courageous fight with cancer – Paramed (especially Tanya Shaw), the LHIN, and the Windsor Regional Cancer Center. Visitation will be held at Anderson Funeral Home & Cremation Centre, 895 Ouellette Avenue on Friday from 2-5 & 7-9 p.m. MASKS ARE REQUIRED. RESERVATIONS MUST BE MADE TO ATTEND VISITATION by calling 519-254-3223 between 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. A Private Service will be held at First Lutheran Church Windsor followed by the interment at Victoria Memorial Gardens. Donations can be made to the Canadian Lutheran World Relief Organization, Windsor Regional Cancer Center or The Mission Thrift Store.



  • Visitation (RESERVATIONS must be made to attend visitation by calling 519-254-3223 between 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.)

    Friday, October 2, 2020

  • Visitation (RESERVATIONS must be made to attend visitation by calling 519-254-3223 between 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Friday, October 2, 2020


  • Private Funeral Service


Phil Ochs

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Andrea Prosser

October 27, 2020

Always someone to rely on, to either help out with a tough camera angle, or a problem much deeper. He was a giver who shared his humour, an idea, some sympathy or whatever he thought he had that would help in most any situation. Generous with his time, and someone who carried "strong" in a way that most folks just don't see. He's missed and loved.

Diane Ochs

October 22, 2020

From Diane to my Beloved Husband, Phil,
When we met in 1968, I went to work the next day and told my co-workers that I had just met the man I was going to marry. There was something different about this person which drew me – his integrity, his kindness and his wonderful humour. We married in 1972 and were blessed throughout our 48 years together. Family and friends were everything to him, but so was his faith. It never wavered, even during his illness. He came from a very strong background that had proven to give him the rudder for his journey through life – teaching, hard work, integrity, love and kindness. He was given the gift of writing and reached out constantly through pen and paper to those he felt needed words of encouragement. Phil, my beloved, I miss you so much I ache, but you are now without pain, without sorrow, experiencing a joy that we cannot even begin to imagine, praising your Lord and Saviour and I know I will see you again.

David Ochs

October 19, 2020

I will always remember how warm and loving you were Uncle Phil. From the big smile on your face whenever I saw you to affectionately calling me "Davie" and making me feel special. You were a Godly man full of strong principles and conviction and I take great comfort knowing you are now home in a wonderful place with our creator. You were a quiet leader who did not seek the limelight but stood strong for what was right regardless of how difficult that may be. I miss you and will cherish the memories of you, looking back fondly forever. I love you very much Uncle Phil.

Shelley Ryan

October 18, 2020

Uncle Phil was always such a kind and gentle soul. A warm smile and an "Ochs joke" were always to be expected. Although he was always there for every important milestone in my life, I/we were very blessed to have gotten to know him even more this past year as he and his brother Jon faced health issues. We came together as a family and we were all able to support one another and get to know each other now as adults and friends.

We recently were all able to open up and share stories and photos of past years and create a book about the Ochs family's journey surviving WWII and coming to Canada. Uncle Phil was a big reason why the book happened and was instrumental in shaping how it turned out.

He was humble and kind and will be dearly missed. We are all better people because of the impact he has had on our lives.

We will remember him fondly and with love,
Shelley, Tim, Jack, Peter, Ally and Finny

Jack Ochs

October 18, 2020

Since my brother Phil has died, I have thought of all the good memories we have, how he loved to play euchre and how he loved his sports. He would play baseball on a seniors baseball league and later managed a team. He loved his winters in Florida where he also played baseball and managed a team. He also loved to play cards especially euchre, but he would not play without listening to the ball game on radio at the same time. A year before he was diagnosed with cancer, we spent a month with him and Diane at their place in Florida. They were generous hosts to Jane and I and we will always remember it with fond memories. Who knew that this would be the last time that they would be able to enjoy ``winter in Florida``.

Phil was a brother who left a lot to remember, to laugh about, and to be grateful for. Through the tears I think of how lucky I was to have him for a brother and for all he meant to me.


Julie Bastien

October 13, 2020


I miss you every minute of every day. I especially miss coming over to tell you about, and make you listen to, the new song that you're "just going to love". I miss movie nights, even the cheesy ones, I miss your corny jokes, I miss your incredible smile. I miss everything about you. I know that you're up in Heaven with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and oh how amazing that must be, but I wish I was there with you so that this incessant ache would go away.

I know that you're up there singing, playing your sports, and I hope you've gotten your hands on the best camera that Heaven has to offer. I know that you're happy and pain-free now, and I'm truly grateful for that.

We're taking good care of mom (she doesn't actually need any taking care of), and we're continuing traditions as you would want us to. We're doing it both for our own healing, but also in honour of you.

I miss you dad, more than I ever thought it possible to miss anyone.

I love you, Daddy,

Julia Di Nardo

October 10, 2020

Dear Diane, Julie, Katherine, Jack, John, and the Ochs family,

My most sincere condolences for your loss. It has been many years since I've seen Phil but I do remember him with camera in tow, and remember spending an enjoyable afternoon with the girls on a visit to Windsor many years ago. I was always struck by how close you all were, and hope that you bring comfort to each other during this difficult time. Losing a loved one is never easy, nor is it made easier during these isolating times, but I imagine you'll pull together to pull through. May your happy memories bring you comfort.


Julia and Jacob

Pat Cormie

October 9, 2020

Dear Diane, Julie and Katherine

Even though Diane's mother and my mother were sisters, Diane and I rarely got to see each other. After spending my childhood on the prairies, I have lived in Victoria for close to 40 years.

I think I only met Phil twice - once before he and Diane married and again a few years later, before the girls were born.

My memories are primarily thanks to receiving lovely Christmas card updates from Diane. She shared news about the family adventures, travels, health and of course, Julie and Katherine. I do wish I had been better at keeping in touch.

My deepest condolences to you, Diane, Julie and Katherine. This is a great loss for you all. I do hope you can take comfort in knowing that his life was well-lived and that he is now at peace.

Pat Cormie

Beth Beck

October 7, 2020

Dear Mrs. Ochs, Julie, Katharine and families,

We want to send our sympathies on the passing of Mr. Ochs. We have so many fond memories of him. We are saddened by his passing, but know that this is only a temporary good bye. As we used to always sing, "God be with you 'til we meet again." May our heavenly Father grant you comfort and peace as you mourn your great loss.

With love, Peter & Beth Beck and Family

Anna Faul

October 7, 2020

Dear Diane and family,

I am Phils cousin with my dauthers Angelika and Elke and we are living in Germany. We still remember our visit at your home in 1979 very well. We know that Phil loved to photograph and he showed us pictures from the family. In 2006 he, his brother Jack, Shelley, Suzy Münch and Tony Kaufmann visited Germany for his Uncle‘s (Peter Bäcker) 90th birthday. All were gathering at our home and we had a great time together.

We are so sad to hear of Phil‘s passing and we are with you in our hearts.

Those we have held in our arms
for a little while,
we will hold in our hearts

In silent memory and love
Anna Faul, Angelika, Raphael & Isabel, and Elke with family



When someone is identified as a natural leader, certain images come to mind. First thoughts are of a no-nonsense, tough-minded, dedicated and disciplined person. This description accurately fits Phil Ochs, who was indeed a born manager. He will be remembered as being organized, practical and realistic. He was a person who always carried a strong sense of duty with him throughout his life. Embracing traditional “old school” morals, Phil was an individual who clearly communicated to those around him just who he was and what he was all about. Everyone acquainted with Phil knew him as a well-respected man: a man of faith, humility, kindness and wittiness. Contrary to his practicality, organization and planning skills, though, Phil was fun-loving to the core. He was a "punny" guy, always with a quick joke or a play-on-words that had people inevitably laughing or groaning.

       His parents were Jacob and Katharina Ochs. In November 1944, his family was forced to flee from Yugoslavia and Phil was born during the time that they were being housed in Pilsen, a work camp in Czechoslovakia. He was born on May 3rd, 1945 in a town nearby called Petersburg (the German name)
or Petrohrad, Czechoslovakia. In September 1946, the family was settled in Scherstetten, Germany where they lived until 1952 when they immigrated to Canada. In Windsor, Ontario, Canada, they first lived with relatives, then on a farm on Tecumseh Rd. E., moving to Edward Street in 1956. Even as a youngster, Phil learned to be hard working and very social. His faith in the principles of authority and dependability was something that he carried with him throughout his life.

      As a young boy, Phil was able to put his natural abilities to work. Phil had one older brother, Jack, and one younger brother, Hans (John). While his mother and grandmother stayed home to care for domestic chores, Phil, his father, and his brothers helped out by working weekends and summers on a farm in nearby Harrow whenever possible where he learned much of his work ethic. Windsor relatives were a big part of the family's social life. He also loved being with his friends (Tom, Neil, Bob, Jim, and many others) and enjoyed school very much, where he showed a great aptitude for language. He loved to read and began to show a real ability to express himself through the written word.

      In school (Prince Edward Elementary, Riverside High), Phil was as close to being a model student as one could possibly imagine. He sought to achieve perfect attendance in all of his classes. He would eagerly complete his homework, and was a logical and focused thinker. Phil was always good at following directions and meeting his schedules, whether they were set by his teachers or were self-imposed. Phil’s personal motto could well have been, “Do it right the first time." He enjoyed some courses more than others, having favorite classes and teachers. His favorite class in high school was English. One of Phil's passions as a young man, and for the rest of his life, was music. He knew every new song, every new artist, and the lyrics word for word to so many of the songs he cherished. This love of music led him to seek a career as a disc jockey, but teaching won his heart in the end.

      Phil’s practical work ethic carried over into his university years. His logical mind permitted him to work hard without succumbing to the usual distractions of college life. He would tackle an assignment and work through it before moving onto the next project. Phil’s orderly nature gave way to establishing personal study habits and procedures that not only helped him stay on track but often put him ahead of schedule. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in English and his Bachelor of Education in 1972.

      Phil was sociable and approachable. Because he was always so straightforward in how he approached relationships, friends and family knew that what they saw was always what they got. He enjoyed the camaraderie of being with a group of friends. He loved soccer, track, playing tennis, table tennis, volleyball and baseball - things he still enjoyed the rest of his life.

      An objective and conscientious individual, Phil reveled in the security of his family. On August 12, 1972, Phil exchanged wedding vows with Diane McCready at First Lutheran Church of Windsor, ON. He quickly became a loving son-in-law to Diane's parents, Grant and Margaret McCready and they spent many wonderful times together. One of Phil’s most endearing qualities was his uncanny ability to remember important dates and anniversaries, and his unending enthusiasm for organizing celebrations for his family and friends.

      Phil was ever watchful of his children. He worried about them and was deeply concerned for their development as they grew up. He maintained a firm hand in their upbringing. Phil would give his stamp of approval to their requests, as long as he could see how they might benefit. He also had the ability to enforce the rules as needed to ensure that his children were properly raised. Phil was blessed with two daughters, Julie (1977) and Katherine (1980). Phil and Diane were also blessed with granddaughter, Taylor, and two step-grandchildren, Jen and Dion. As "Papa", he was young Taylor's biggest advocate.

      Being a hard worker who praised efficiency, Phil was always striving to make improvements where they were necessary. He worked cooperatively and expected the same from his colleagues. In both his personal and professional life, Phil upheld his standards. His primary occupation was teaching. He was employed for 30 years by the Greater Essex County District School Board - 20 years at Malden Public School and 10 years at Colchester North Public School where he impacted the lives of many children who were lucky enough to have "Mr. Jokes" as a teacher. He also coached sports at both schools, soccer being by far his favorite. Phil was a team player who certainly lived out the motto of “give me a job, and I will get it done.”

      Phil approached his leisure time in the same manner that he approached his life. A person who enjoyed being neat and orderly and one who understood the nature of things, he appreciated the hours he was able to devote to his various hobbies. His favorite pursuits were baseball, volleyball, table tennis, pickleball and photography. Phil could always be seen with a camera looped around his neck and he captured so many important memories for friends, always being so generous with his work. He also loved to seize the beauty of God's creation, which never ceased to amaze him. Part of Phil's every day, whether at home or driving, shopping or traveling, was song. He could be found humming a tune in the middle of a shopping mall, or ensuring that his favorite artists were playing in the background at home or in the car, with him singing along every opportunity he got. How he loved a good live concert! Lastly, I guess you would have to say that the one life skill that really stood out was his concern for others, expressed through the many cards and letters that he so expertly composed. Every Christmas, every family member had a letter on the tree for them and they are cherished beyond measure.

      Playing by the rules was a natural thing for Phil to do in life and that carried over to his enjoyment of sports. Besides enjoying playing all the sports he loved, Phil also was something of a sports fan and enjoyed watching his favorite events whenever he got the opportunity. Tops on his list were baseball, tennis, and, football.

      Being generous with his time and energy, Phil liked to belong to a variety of groups and organizations. He was a vocal leader who enjoyed being a part of things. His desire to uphold traditions and his ability to take charge of any type of project made him a tremendous asset. Throughout his later years, Phil was an active member of the WECSSO, Windsor Essex County Senior Sports Organization, where he made many lifelong friendships. It was a huge part of his retirement years.

     Phil was the type of person who could masterfully organize events and projects and then see to it that they were run in an efficient and timely manner. Phil was a member of several community groups, including serving on committees for the WECSSO, the Mission Thrift Store, and helped teach English as a Second Language classes through the Windsor Essex County Lutheran Outreach (WECLO).

      Faith was extremely important to Phil. He held high moral standards and was worried about the moral decay he saw around him. For that reason, he held deep spiritual beliefs that he was willing to share. He was a member of First Lutheran Church in Windsor (1952-2000) and Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Amherstburg (2000-2020). During that time, he was an Elder, President, Head Usher, LCC East District Constitution Committee member, Sunday School Teacher and Bible Study leader.

      When it came time to travel or take a vacation, Phil used his scheduling and planning expertise to make sure everyone and everything was ready to go. Phil had a knack for "finding a good deal". Favorite vacations included a tour of Europe, cruises (including Alaska, the Caribbean, Panama Canal, Iceland and Norway, East Coast), trips to California and Arizona, a camping trip across Canada with "his girls" and wintering in Florida after retirement.

      Phil was a lover of animals and cherished his pets. One of Phil’s favorites was a collie/shepherd mix by the name of Sebastien. They were best friends for 10 years. He even had his daughter's pups (his "granddogs") by his side until the very end.

      When Phil’s retirement finally arrived in 2000, he was well prepared. He used his critical evaluation skills to make sure that every detail had been preplanned and attended to. After retirement, he loved wintering in Florida where he formed many friendships, played sports, and enjoyed becoming part of St. Michael's Lutheran Church. In many ways, Phil loved retirement. It provided him with the opportunity to catch up with his friends, attend functions and group outings, and tackle new interesting activities.

      Phil passed away on September 29, 2020 at home in McGregor. Phil fought a brave battle against cancer. He is survived by his wife, Diane, daughters Julie (Jeff) and Katherine (Brad), granddaughter Taylor and step-grandchildren Jen (Mike) and Dion and his brothers Jack (Jane) and John, as well as Diane's brother and sister, Doug and Mary Lynn. Many close cousins in Germany, Canada and the USA, as well as 7 nieces and nephews(Shelley, David, Bryan, Mark, Trevor, Sterling and Heather) mourn his loss. Services were held at First Lutheran Church on October 3, 2020. Phil was laid to rest in Victoria Memorial Gardens.

      All who knew him would agree that Phil was a pillar of the community. He lived his life with his feet firmly on the ground. He had a strong work ethic, was pragmatic in his thoughts and acts, and constantly sought the means for self-improvement. He was willing to share his ideas and knowledge for the benefit of others, so that they could accomplish more in their lives. Phil Ochs did his best to ensure that his family, friends, loved ones, co-workers, and everyone whose life he touched was given the chance to become a better person and to hear about God when the opportunity arose.

Phil will be deeply missed, but never forgotten, and it is with certainty that his family can declare that one day they will meet him again.

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