LACONIA — Philip "Phil" Belanger, 55, of Laconia, NH, formerly of Acton, MA, passed away at his home, with his loving wife by his side, on Friday, July 9, 2021.
Phil was born on December 29, 1965, the son of Audrey (Hayes) Belanger and the late Charlie Belanger.
Phil may have been born in December, but the day he liked to celebrate more than any other was July 4. No work? Check. A day on the lake? Check. Family, friends, cookouts, parties, and fireworks? Check, check, check, check and check. On the Belanger family calendar, hanging in the kitchen of their Laconia home on Lake Winnipesaukee, July 4, AKA ‘Phil’s Birthday.'
And why not? The man had dreamed of figuring out how to eventually buy a house on a lake in New Hampshire and entertain friends and family on a boat, and he put in the work to make it happen. Phil earned his undergraduate degree from Franklin Pierce after both PJ and Elizabeth were born and forged a career that included mortgage refinancing and database management. He invested in his work, invested in his homes, and planned wisely before ending up in New Hampshire in 2015. On a lake. With a boat.
Beyond his work, though, he was a builder. Sure, he could construct a firepit, put up a closet, or paint a house. But more than that, he built a foundation that those closest to him will use as they navigate their paths forward.
He built a marriage, a relationship that started at the Ground Round in Cleveland Circle, when he met a senior from Boston College on Marathon Day in 1988 and needed to get something to eat. After putting their heads down and sending their two children off on their adult paths, Nancy and Phil empty-nested in New Hampshire. They did everything together; walks, hikes, boating, snow-shoeing, skiing, snowmobiling, and they were united in their love of their children, their extended family and their enormous circle of friends built on a lifetime of caring for others.
Phil built a family, mostly on athletic fields and basketball courts. Both his children were accomplished athletes, and he coached them in football (PJ) and basketball (Elizabeth) from pee-wee to the high school level. While some kids might not want their Dad on the sideline, the Belanger kids loved it…film sessions, pre-game meetings, playbooks. Acton – Boxborough Pop Warner football was one step down from the Patriots! Or at least that is what Phil made the kids feel. And Elizabeth wanted no one else on her bench as she pursued a sport that eventually landed her a year in Europe (and her loving wife!), even when she had to step in and make sure, um, he wasn’t going to get a technical and cost her team the game. Phil even launched his brother Stephen’s family, introducing him to his future wife of 33 years on a double date.
He built a community of friends, from Massachusetts and New Hampshire, who are better for knowing him. The concept of friends and family blurred sometimes, as both were always equally welcome in the Belanger home and on the receiving end of a helping hand. If your neighbor was out of town and it snowed, you shoveled their driveway. It is just what you do. Those huge parties kids throw in high school that require a thorough cleanup before Mom and Dad get home? Yeah, Phil threw those, and never really stopped throwing them and being in the middle of a social scene.
“My last memory of him was him video chatting with Reid on Thursday night,” PJ said. “He was so happy. He was out walking with my mom, his best friend, on Friday. He was going to have friends over that night. He was taking the boat out on Saturday. It is hard to reconcile him losing his life so young. But he was a lucky man.”
Phil leaves his beloved wife of 29 years, Nancy (Trocchi) Belanger. He was a loving father of Philip Belanger Jr. and his wife Devon Schreiber, and daughter Elizabeth Coia, and her wife Corinne Coia; his granddaughter, Reid Belanger; his brother, Stephen Belanger and his wife Debbie Belanger; and his brother-in-law, Phil Dukette. He is predeceased by his father Charlie and his sister Michelle Dukette.
His family and friends were lucky to know him.
Calling hours will be held Thursday, July 15, 2021, from 4:00-7:00 p.m. in the Carriage House, at Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home, 164 Pleasant Street, Laconia, NH, 03246.