Artist Paul Philippe Desrochers of Sugar Loaf, NY, left this earth and the constraints of pain behind on December 29, 2021, at 7:42 in the morning. He was 79 years old. Philippe was born on the islands near Boucherville, Quebec, on July 1, 1942, son of the late Narcisse and Yvette (nee Simard) Desrochers.
Philippe was so many things to so many people, but through his whole life he expressed his emotions and his keen observations of the world through his art. His sculpture was sensitive, spiritual and often a true window of events. Toward the end of his life he said “sometimes, quite often, but not always, I felt the presence of God when I was creating.”
Philippe was a humble and grateful man who loved his family. He was devoted to his wife of 48 years, Susanne. He fell in love with her from the first moment he saw her in Key Largo, Florida, and never deviated from his constant love. He was also devoted to his beloved son, Sebastien, with whom he shared his thoughts and his views, and for whom he created a large brass and jewel-inlaid chess set that took nearly 5 years to complete. One of the last lessons Philippe taught his son was to always choose hope. He was close to his daughter in law, Deirdre, who enjoyed assisting the artist with navigating bureaucracy. Philippe was grandfather (Papou) to three beautiful grandchildren, Jack, Mary and Rose. He shared a special sweet bond with Mary, another gentle soul.
Many pieces of Philippe’s artwork can be viewed in Montreal, such as his sculpture adorning the archway to the Artist’s Courtyard in the Old Quarter. Philippe was ardently devoted to French language rights, a movement shared by his closest friends there. Rene Levesque, former Premier of Quebec during the Quiet Revolution, enjoyed Philippe’s sculpture of a patriot.
Philippe is survived by a large close-knit family in Montreal, Quebec, including his dear sisters Sylvie, Carmen and Cecille, and many loved friends. His nephew Michel, another wonderful artist, held a special place in his heart.
Philippe has many friends all over the world. Wherever he went, because of his artistic sensibility, language abilities and love of people and travel, he became a local. In his winter heart home, in Costa Rica, Philippe loved the warm ocean, playing cribbage on the beach, and all of the jungle animals that visited Philippe and Susanne’s deck.
Philippe lived a simple existence and had no longing for ‘things,’ although he did love the comforts of home. Here in New York, he loved to hike, take walks and play poker with his dear buddies. Philippe and Susanne’s special friends Darlene Burke, Nick Zungoli, Jacques and Ethel Hemsi, Mike Needleman, Ioanna Fassou, Paula Spector and Beverly Braxton were greatly appreciated during the last, most difficult weeks.
Philippe will be greatly missed by his earthly family, but we like to think of him as free now to travel again and to be part of a universal spirit, spreading his unique energy and love as he goes toward the heavens.
Philippe’s family is planning a memorial service at a future date when all can gather safely.
Arrangements were made by Lazear-Smith & Vander Plaat Memorial Home, 17 Oakland Avenue, Warwick, NY. To send an online condolence, visit www.lsvpmemorialhome.com