In Memory of




Obituary for Philip George Poling

The family of Philip George Poling sadly announces his passing on Monday September 18, 2023 after a 29 year battle with cancer.

Phil was born April 7th 1954 in Port Arthur Ontario. He was the fifth of ten children born to Jack and Rachelle Poling. Phil attended Corpus Christi Catholic School, St. Ignatius School and Hammerskjold High School. His days spent at Carrick recreation center helped shape his athletic talents which led to his success as a distance runner and later becoming the legendary men’s league goalie known as “Five-Hole” Poling.

In his final year of high school, Phil transferred to Port Arthur Collegiate Institute where he met the love of his life, Cathy Hrymnak. Phil and Cathy married September 6, 1975 and were blessed with four children who were the focus of their lives. When they weren’t going from arena to arena for the kids’ sports, the family spent their time camping at Mawn Lake, berry picking and family road tripping. Along the way came 9 grandchildren, who were the passion of Phil’s later life; there was nothing he wouldn’t do to see his grandchildren happy. In 2023, Phil and Cathy celebrated 48 incredible years together.

Phil is survived by the love of his life, Cathy; his four children, Phil Jr., Kris (Stephanie), Greg (Justyna), and Stefanie (Kelly Brodie); his 9 grandchildren, Bailey Stevens-Poling & Parker Poling, Eli & Coen Poling, Olivia & Noah Poling, Jailin, Mylee & Haiden Poling-Brodie; also his nine siblings, Allen Poling (Jackie), Anne-Marie Van Brunt (Graham), Ron Poling (Lucie), Marg Poling (Don), Diane Bernardi (Sonnie), Ernie Poling, Mary Lynn Clayton (Rob), Janine McCallum (Dave) and Jacquie Kennedy (George). He is also survived by his mother in law Belle Hrymnak, his sister in law Debbie Bennett (Bill) and numerous special nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews and cousins. He was also fortunate to have incredibly close life–long friends that made up his extended family. Phil was pre-deceased by his parents, his father-in-law Steve, and brother-in-law Stephen (Anna-Marie). Phil will forever be remembered for his dry wit, willingness to drop everything to help others, and faithful devotion to his Montreal Canadiens.

Per his wishes, cremation has taken place. Friends and family are invited to gather on Friday, September 29th, 2023 at 11 a.m. at Our Lady of Loretto Church, 290 Grenville Ave., Thunder Bay. A celebration of his life will follow at 1 p.m. at the Current River Recreation Centre, 450 Dewe Ave., Thunder Bay.

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations made in Phil’s memory to the Dew Drop Inn or Thunder Bay Regional Cancer Center.

A special thank you from the family goes out to Dr. Aseyev, Dr. Bezanson, Dr. Migay, and the team of amazing nurses at St. Joe’s Hospice Unit whose care and compassion eased him through this journey.

‘We are so happy to have had him, but so sad to have lost him’
- Ron Poling