Philip John Söderlind, retired airline pilot and beloved husband of Marian “Rusty” Söderlind, died August 22, 2022 at his home. Philip was born in 1934 in Minneapolis, MN to first-generation Swedish parents, Eleanor Bymark and Dr. Ragnar Söderlind. Philip spent his formative years in Minneapolis and long summers and vacations at Marine’s family cabin in St. Croix, MN. The cabin was a special place for the family as it was designed and built in 1924 by his father. During his extended stays at Marine sur Sainte-Croix, Philip enjoyed building makeshift boats, fishing and playing badminton with his 2 older brothers. During the winter months, Philip hunted deer along the river with his friend Tom Burris. Phil, as he was known to friends and family, grew to love mechanics and engines. As a teenager, Phil built a hot rod out of a 1935 Ford. The vehicle was featured in a popular hot rod magazine of the time. His early interests in cars and motorcycles led to a fascination with aeronautics. Phil began his flying lessons at the age of 16, quickly moving from small single-engine planes to twin-engine DC-3s. He was hired by North Central Airlines in 1956. At North Central, Phil was quickly promoted to Captain at only 23 years old. Phil’s career in the airline industry has spanned over 4 decades. He has flown all over the continental United States, Osaka, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Australia. He became a leader in his field, flying large 747-200 jumbo jets and eventually was hired to write user manuals for the Boeing 757. While stationed in Chicago, Phil met a young flight attendant named Marian “Rusty” Morgan. Rusty liked to tell how she had a crush on the handsome captain and traded flights with her fellow flight attendants to spend more time with him. Philip and Rusty fell in love and eventually married in 1966 and started a family. The young family moved from the Chicago area and settled in Scottsdale, AZ in 1976. Rusty and Phil were married for over 50 years until Rusty’s death, due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease, in 2018. Phil retired on his birthday, June 19, 1994, and is entering secondary careers. He worked for NATCO in Eagan, MN, training new pilots. At NATCO, Philip met Aviv Kivity, co-founder of Avionitek, a software company that developed the first on-board flight computer. Phil worked with the Israeli company for several years, consulting on pilots’ interaction with computer technology. In Phil’s later years, always looking for ways to learn new skills, he spent his free time buying and repairing all kinds of mechanical clocks. He had a particular interest in cuckoo clocks. He often repaired his neighbors’ clocks and sometimes gave them as gifts. Well known in his local community, Phil left all who met him, including the postman, dry cleaner, dog groomer, housekeeper and financial adviser, fond memories and kind words. for him. Philip was a well-known animal lover throughout his life, always having at least one dog. His last beloved dog, Toby, was by his side when he passed away. Philip is survived by his children, Jenny Ouimette and Philip Soderlind II, as well as grandchildren: Nelson, Griffin, Hudson, Bennett, Matt, Chris, Jake, Nancy and Henry.
Posted on August 27, 2022
Posted in The Arizona Republic