Phillip James Pacie was born on September 30, 1940, in Chicago, Illinois. He died November 30, 2017, at the John Cochran Veteran’s Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri.
He is survived by his loving wife, Sharon (nee) Motz. He was a loving father to Michael, John (Debra,) Jennifer Wagner (Aaron,) and Jeffrey, grandfather to Michael Jr., Robert, and Elizabeth, and great-grandfather to Fiona. He is also survived by a dear friend of the family, Chris Hoban.
He proudly served his country in the U.S. Army 1961-62. Phil and Sharon were married on May 13, 1973, (which happened to be Mother’s Day.) He was a licensed C.B. Operator and his handle was “HARD HEAD.” He loved to bowl and even bowled a couple of perfect 300 games. Needless to say, he was very competitive!
He was a dynamic salesman and could always close the deal. While living in St. Louis (from 1974-78,) he was a General Contractor for Venture Stores, and set up all of their restaurants and snack bars, both in St. Louis and Chicago. In early 1978, Sharon and Phil moved back to Illinois, and settled in Carol Stream. He started with AVTEC as Vice President of Sales. Later, in 1985, they moved back to St. Louis, where Phil went to work for Southern Equipment (SECO Engineering.) In 1989, Hussman Refrigeration purchased SECO and he became a Zone Vice President. Eventually, he started his own company as a Manufacturers’ Rep for restaurant equipment, and later opened a warehouse at Holly Hills and Gravois, and started distributing restaurant equipment and small wares.
Business was beginning to pick up, until he suffered a devastating brain stem stroke in August of 1997 which caused catastrophic damage to his vision, short term memory and balance. He was hospitalized but through rehab began to reestablish his life. However, he continued to have multiple TIA’s throughout the rest of his life that further contributed to his decline.
In addition to the fallout from the stroke, he also developed diabetes. In 2001, he lost his left leg directly below the knee. He was fitted with a prosthetic, but because of his balance issues from the stroke, started to use a wheelchair full time. From there, he started having problems with his right foot, and lost three of his smaller toes. Despite continued attempts to try to salvage the leg, in 2006, Phil had a second amputation of his right leg, again below the knee.
Phil and Sharon joined the St. Anthony’s Amputee Group, and one of the members, who was also a veteran, advised Phil on getting into the VA Health System. During his time with the VA, the doctors worked on getting his diabetes under control and his blood pressure manageable. They discovered a valve of his heart was damaged, but they felt that he wasn’t strong enough to undergo surgery. In addition to medical resources, the VA had a program that allowed Phil and Sharon to have a full time aide. A long-time family friend, Chris Hoban, was perfect for the job and took care of Phil and helped Sharon tremendously.
Phil and Sharon never let Phil’s disabilities stop them from enjoying life to its fullest. They continued to travel, and took several cruises. Phil loved his St. Louis Blues and Cardinals, Neil Diamond, game shows, and old TV shows. He loved going to the casino and definitely was the lucky one in the family. He loved to eat. Favorite foods included hamburgers, pizza, Chicago hot dogs, and beef sandwiches! He loved ice cream and had an insatiable sweet tooth!
On November 30, 2017, Phil had symptoms that were thought to be related to one of his new blood pressure medicines and went to the ER where he was admitted to the ICU. The family was summoned to the hospital when he went into full cardiac arrest, and while the doctors did everything they could, he could not be resuscitated. Mike, John, Debra, Jeff, Chris, and Sharon were at the hospital, and Jennifer and Elizabeth were on the phone in Kansas City.
Phil fought a battle every day for 20 years since that first stroke, and he is now at peace. He will be sorely missed, but his body can finally rest.