We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Citroenvie club member Philippe Devingt who succumbed to a long term cancer illness on October 28, 2015, peacefully with his wife Sylvia at his side. Although Phil had been coping with cancer since it was first detected last May, he remained upbeat and although recently visibly weak from recent chemo treatment, he coped with it as best he could.
Born in Lillebonne, France he immigrated to Canada in 1967. Phil was proud to be a Canadian but never lost his devotion for his beloved France. He was employed at Imperial Oil in Sarnia from 1978 to 1999, retiring at age 55. Phil spent his retirement years happily restoring Citroëns, showing them all over the United States and Canada and winning many trophies and awards. Phil was an enthusiastic member of Citroën AutoClub Canada for over four decades. He and Silvia attended many outings. And many more with Phil’s close friend in Sarnia, David Kelley, also a Citroën enthusiast.
Phil became a legend for the Citroëns he restored and worked on for himself and others over the years. He is perhaps best remembered for bringing a 1966 DS cabriolet back to life around the late 1990’s and showing it, finished, at the 12th ICCCR in Amherst, MA in August 2002.
He also did an impressive restoration in 2004 on a 1961 ID Break, that he found in a farmer’s field near Hamilton Ontario.
Phil was presented the Citroen Autoclub Canada Golden Sphere Award in 2005 for his effort on the DS cabriolet and ID Break restorations. When he got the award, he took off the sphere on top, ran a pressure test on it and discovered it was good. So he figured he would keep that and gold-painted a shot one he had lying about his garage installing that back on the award. He used to love telling us he’d done that, always with a big smirk on his face!
Having owned a few SM’s over the years, his most recent accomplishment was making a lovely driver from a 1972 SM he purchased in Atlanta.
Nothing was too daunting for Phil. On one occasion in the 1990’s on a trip to the Carlisle meet in May, the water pump failed on the DS that he had had the time. It was a terrible rainy day but that didn’t stop Phil from from affecting a repair on the side of the road… removing the radiator etc. to get at the pump and still making it to the Carlisle event, albeit a bit late but there nonetheless and still cheerful about the adventure!
Philippe was an avid bowler with both the City League and the Imperial Oil Retirees League. He was also a faithful member of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Sarnia. Funeral services were held at Redeemer Lutheran Church with Dr. Roger C. Ellis officiating on Saturday, October 31, 2015. During the eulogy the pastor recalled a joke Phil used to make about his love for Citroëns and his need to be buried in a Citroen’s trunk. In his view, “faith, friendship, Citroën, wine and joie de vivre” were what Phil valued most in life. An interment followed at Lakeview Cemetery where Phil chose to be buried so that he could keep an eye on his buddies at Tim Hortons on Colborne Rd.
He will be dearly missed.
In lieu of flowers memorial gifts may be made through donations to St. Joseph’s Hospice or Children’s Hospital-London Health Sciences Centre.