Phil Delmer was a determined man, the kind of person remembered by friends and acquaintances as someone who shrugged aside or labored through obstacles, even in his final years of life.
Mr. Delmer, an accomplished golfer and longtime Mount Washington resident, died Jan. 3 of natural causes at Wellington Regional Hospital in Wellington, Fla. He was 73.
An engineer and a salesman by trade, Mr. Delmer found joy and solace in golf, a game he played compulsively for much of his life. For Mr. Delmer, golf was not only a hobby but a way to channel his competitive energy.
In that endeavor, he excelled. He won several local tournaments -- many of which came at Edgewood Country Club, where he was a member – and he once captured the Allegheny County Senior Golf Championship.
“Phil, to me, was kind of a warrior,” said Vic Tatum, a close friend and a board member at Edgewood. “He was a winner.”
As time passed, however, Mr. Delmer’s health began to worsen. In addition to successfully battling throat cancer, he routinely had to deal with the effects of ankylosing spondylitis, a chronic inflammatory disease of the axial skeleton.
But even as his body deteriorated, Mr. Delmer’s spirit and resolve for golf strengthened. Though he was unable to bend over to tee up his ball every hole, he would play with a partner who would gladly do it for him. He altered his swing and reinvented his game to keep playing. Before almost every round, he would visit a chiropractor to loosen up his body enough so he could swing a club.
“Most people would have quit playing the game with all the health issues he had,” said Phil Mickelwright, the head golf professional at Edgewood. “He refused to quit.”
In addition to golf, Mr. Delmer was actively involved in the community. Prior to moving to Florida for the final years of his life, he served for five years on the board of the Mount Washington Community Development Corporation, a non-profit organization focused on the development and betterment of Mt. Washington and Duquesne Heights.
Though he originally planned to be a veterinarian, Mr. Delmer graduated from Washington & Jefferson College and later the University of Pittsburgh with an engineering degree. His love for animals continued and in lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to an animal shelter or charity.
Mr. Delmer is survived by his wife of 37 years, Diane.
Arrangements were by the Dorsey-E. Earl Smith Memory Gardens Funeral Home in Lake Worth, Fla.
Craig Meyer: email@example.com.