Philip Reeves lost his battle with cancer on February 7, 2017. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, on July 15, 1959, he moved to Wilton in 1962. As a member of the Wilton Volunteer Fire Department, Phil found his lifelong passion, becoming a firefighter with the Westport Department in 1980, where he remained for six years, at which point he joined the United States Army, to earn his wings as an Army aviator.
After completing his active obligation, which included a tour in the Republic of Korea, Phil transferred to the Massachusetts National Guard, where he remained until his death, achieving the rank of Chief Warrant Officer 5 as the State Aviation Safety Officer. Phil served two tours in Iraq as a Medevac helicopter pilot.
In 1994, Phil joined the Bridgeport Fire Department, earning promotions to Pumper Engineer and Fire Lieutenant, retiring in 2016. Phil served the Bridgeport Fire Department as Firefighter, Engineer, Training Officer, Safety Officer, and Battalion Chief’s Aide. Phil earned a Bachelor’s of Science in History and a Masters in Homeland Security and Disaster Management.
Phil married the light of his life and soulmate, Robyn Hapke in 1994, who survives him. Also surviving him are his daughter Rebecca of Keene, New Hampshire, and son Isaac of Wilton. He is survived by his mother Sarah, of Walpole New Hampshire; sister Leslie Kanerva of Springfield, Vermont; sister Cynthia and her partner Ray Ruseckas of Walpole, NH; and brother Ted, of Springfield, Vermont.
As a proud veteran, Phil was a life member of the VFW, the United States Army Warrant Officer Association, the National Guard Association of the United States, and the Army Aviation Association of America. Phil was also a proud member of Bridgeport Firefighter’s Local 834.
His funeral service was held with full fire department and military honors, which included bag pipes, flag presentations and 21-gun salute on Saturday, February 18, 2017.
Phil will never be forgotten by those lucky enough to have served alongside of him — whether crawling through the smoke and heat of a raging house fire, or flying into a hot LZ with bullets flying. From the fireground to a battlefield, we are all better firemen and soldiers now for working with and knowing Phil.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Bridgeport Fallen Firefighters Foundation, the USO, or the veteran’s service organization of your choice.
– Fire News photos by Keith Muratori