Joseph John Philippon

BANGOR – Joseph John Leo Philippon, 83, died peacefully April 12, 2020, at his home, after a long illness. He was born October 1, 1936, in Winthrop, the son of Rosario J. and Antoinette D. (Audet) Philippon. To all who knew him in Winthrop he was known as “Leo”.

Joe attended Winthrop High School, where he excelled as an athlete playing football, baseball and basketball for the Ramblers and graduated in 1955. After high school, Joe attended the University of Maine at Orono, where he played football. After his first semester he realized that the academic life at UMO did not suit his personality and wide range of skills and he believed the Military was a better fit .Joe enlisted in the Air Force in 1956, did his basic training in Biloxi, Mississippi, and was stationed near Bordeaux, France, where he met the love of his life, Liliane (Dejardin) Philippon. Joe and Lil started their family while stationed in France, and after a son and daughter were born, he was honorably discharged and they returned to the US in January 1961 and moved back to Winthrop, his hometown. Joe worked as a mechanic and mason’s helper for a while until he got a job as a technician at the Maine Air National guard, Dow Air Force Base in 1962 Joe’s career at the MEANG was a successful one as he became Chief Master Sergeant and the first Chief Boom Operator for the 101st Air Refueling Wing. He loved his time with the “Guard” where he made lifelong friends and traveled to various countries. His stories about these trips were endless, and when he spoke of them you knew it was a great time in his life. Joe retired in 1991 and always remained active in the Retirees Association, he never missed the annual Lobster Bake.

Joe was always supportive of his four children, Richard A. “Tony” Philippon (deceased) Catherine V (Philippon) Hope, Patrick J. Philippon, and Daniel P Philippon. Joe and Lil followed the boys to each and every sporting event and they never missed a game. Joe was also the President of the Bangor High School Boosters Club for many years and was often seen holding the Ram on a leash at football games. He was a dedicated and generous man who took every task seriously.Later in his life he became an active participant and supporter of the Maine Kidney Foundation, relentlessly helping raise money for this important cause which was dear to him. For Joe in these latter years it was his grandchildren that gave him the most joy. He was so proud and lived to see what successes these six grandchildren would have, again following them to their sporting events even when he didn’t understand the rules. He loved the basketball and football and baseball but never really understood the rules of wrestling and soccer.Joe remained active during his retirement with his rental properties and giving advice and lending a hand with a building project for his children. In May 2012 Joe lost his wife Liliane of 54 years. To celebrate her life, he took his four children and spouses to France to show them all what their life had been like while he was stationed there, visiting the actual places they both worked, the homes they lived in and restaurants they loved to eat in. In November 2017 Joe was devasted by the untimely death of his eldest son Tony which pained him until the end of his life.Joe’s health started to deteriorate in November 2018 after a fall which has kept him for the most part housebound. This was a difficult time for him as he loved his mornings at Bagel Central with his good friends talking about life and politics. Joe was able to say goodbye to many friends on Wednesday April 8, as the MEANG paid tribute to him with a 54 car drive by salute at his home on Linden Street in Bangor.

In addition to his parents, Joe was predeceased by his wife, Liliane (Dejardin) Philippon, and a son, Richard A. “Tony” Philippon. He is survived by his children, Catherine Hope and husband Bernard, Patrick Phillipon and wife Meg Philippon, Daniel Phillipon and wife Sarah Philippon; six grandchildren, Lucas, Michael, Hannah, Grace, Ellery and Abigail; his sister, Ester (Philippon) Foster and husband Larry; nephew John Foster, niece Joan (Foster) Ford, nephew Bertrand Dejardin of Bordeaux France; and his many Philippon and Audet cousins.

Services will be held at Brookings-Smith, 133 Center St., Bangor, at a date and time to be announced. Interment with military honors will be in Mount Hope Cemetery, Bangor. To express condolences to the family and to view updated service information as it is learned, please visit

Those wishing to remember Joe in a special way may make gifts in his memory to:  PKD Foundation 1001 E. 101st Terrace Suite 220 Kansas City, MO 64131

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