March 19, 1943-Feb. 9, 2020
"People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
On Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, we said goodbye to Philip Richardson Constable; Dad to three children, Popeye to eight grandchildren, and Hon to Sherry, his Sweetie Pie of 56 years. In addition to his wife, he is remembered by daughter, Christine Stadler and her husband, Alan, of Staunton, Va., their children, Justin, Rachel, and Audrey; son, Rick Constable and his wife, Lanie, their children, Tripp, Cole, Bailey, and Caroline of Mooresville, N.C.; and daughter, Beth Torkelson, her husband, Kai, and their daughter, Philli, of Portsmouth, Va. He was preceded in death by stepbrother, George, and sister-in-law, Barbara, and also leaves behind brother, Albert; stepsister, Connie; brothers-in-law, Bev and Joe Appleton, and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
Born in Wilmington, Del., to Albert and Phyllis in 1943, Philip moved to Virginia at a young age. He attended Christ Church School and Harrisonburg High, where he was known as the "Splendid Splinter" and "Bones" by his teammates and friends, and went on to attend NC State. Philip married his high school sweetheart, Sherry Appleton, and after a short time in Charlottesville working for a brokerage company they moved to Harrisonburg. Here they started Snow White Diaper Service, the first of its kind in town, after which Philip started Virginia Well Drilling with partner, Dick Benner. In 1970, the Constables bought a farm and restored an 1850s farmhouse, affectionately named Riverlea Farm by his mother “Gigi”, and in 1973 began building their turkey business and contracted with Wampler Foods. In the 1980s Philip got his real estate license and joined Horsely and Constable Realty, and in 1996 opened his own office, Century 21 Real Estate Unlimited. He then went on to join Funkhouser Real Estate Group where he worked until his passing. Philip was a man of many talents and interests, but no matter the business venture, his success always came from the way he treated those around him.
Philip loved hunting for treasure; whether for arrowheads at the farm, gems in the mines in Franklin, N.C., where he would travel with friends, or shark teeth at Topsail Island where his family shared so many fond memories. He loved to relax by the river at his home, spent many days at Smith Mountain Lake with his family, and went on many trips over the years to Hilton Head, the Outer Banks, and Duck with lifelong friends. He loved his gadgets, even spending countless hours building his own helicopter. Over the years Philip enjoyed raising many creatures, from dogs, monkeys, orphaned raccoons, alligators, and more. He was a past member of the Ruritan Club, he brewed his own beer, played his speaker loud, and never slowed down until the end.
While we mourn the loss of his life and of his presence in ours, we have so many memories for which to be thankful. Philip was an anchor to many, a helping hand to anyone, and an example of what a person should be to all.
A celebration of Philip's life will be held at Kyger Funeral Home on Saturday, Feb. 15. Visitation with the family will be at 3 p.m. with a service at 4 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, his family asks that you forward any donations to a cause that Philip supported, such as the local Cancer Society, Great Dane Rescue Inc., or a charity of your choice.
Condolences may be shared at www.kygers.com.