C. Philip Smith

On June 19th, 2021, C. Philip Smith, 89, passed away at home surrounded by his family and dear friends.  Born on January 10th, 1932, he was the son of the late Gerald A. and Gladys E. Smith.  Philip was a lifelong resident of Harwich Port.  He graduated from Harwich High School, the Salutatorian of his class in 1950.  Philip was a gifted athlete.  While attending Harwich High School he played and lettered in three sports, basketball, baseball and football.  He attended the University of New Hampshire.  He enlisted in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict and served for two years during which time he was an automotive parts specialist.  Philip then returned home to Harwich Port to eventually assume control of the Melrose Inn, the family-owned business.  He became the general manager and head chef of the Melrose, one of the last full American Plan hotels in the United States and remained there until 1982.  He hired and mentored many young people that considered him a father figure.  Two of those people who have remained very devoted to Philip and his family are Stephen Haas and Chris Vagenas.  In 1961 he also opened The Trampoline Center in West Harwich, which is still in existence today. It has become a nostalgic landmark for many Cape families and tourists. In 1989 he made a career change.  He attended a U.S. Coast Guard approved school and took courses at Massachusetts Maritime Academy.  He acquired his 100-ton Master Mariner’s License.  Philip became a charter captain of the Elisar S offering both fishing and touring charters off Cape Cod for the next 10 years.  Philip was an avid skier, skiing all over the world.  His most cherished skiing memories are those spent in Vermont, especially of Bromley Mountain.  He learned to ski from members of the 10th Mountain Division from World War II.  He taught his wife, all of his children, many nieces and nephews and friends how to ski.  He was a very patient teacher on the slopes. He was still skiing in his eighties. Long before fitness was a popular lifestyle, Philip was running the streets of the Cape, exercising and lifting weights in his private gym. One of his fondest memories were days spent on Grassy Pond, duck hunting with his lifelong friend Hillary LeClaire.  As time went on, Philip’s son, Chuck enjoyed many wonderful hours hunting with his dad and Hillary. Everyone enjoyed hearing their “duck stories.”  
Philip is survived by his wife, Donna W. of 46 years, his son, Jerry and daughter-in-law Kass Smith of Oregon, his daughter Cindie White of Oregon, son Chuck and daughter-in-law Sharon Smith of Florida, daughter Elizabeth and son-in-law Michael Doucette of Colorado and daughter Sarah and son-in-law Jared McGuire of Harwich.  He is also survived by seven grandchildren, Isabelle, Jackson, Charles, Eos, Aurora, Pike and Hudson, two sisters, Elizabeth Blum and Jane Lynch, and several nieces and nephews.  
A memorial service and celebration of Philip’s life will be held at 10:30 on the morning of Thursday, September 23 at the Pilgrim Congregational Church, Route 28 in Harwich Port.  In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The Alex B. Haas Memorial Scholarship Fund (alexbhaas.org), Tunnel to Towers (t2t.org), and Wild Care of Cape Cod (wildcarecapecod.org).