On Friday, February 26, 2016 former Glendale City Councilmember Phil Lieberman passed away in Oceanside, California, site of his retirement since December, 2012. Phil settled in Glendale in 1949. For 62 years he was deeply and passionately involved in the fabric of our city. He served for 21 years on Glendale City Council from 1991 to the end of 2012. He and his wife, Nita, then retired to Oceanside to be surrounded by the love and warmth of his family and friends.
I can’t believe he’s gone. Phil was always larger than life. He loved his motorcycles and for many years he sold them in his store. He used to tease me by threatening to make me ride on his cycle. He often rode his bike to city hall and I can remember seeing the beast and saying to myself, he’s beat me here again. Doesn’t this guy ever sleep? For years he always rode in Bike Week.
Phil was committed to his service as a councilmember and there were many times he impressed all, council and staff, with his knowledge of facts and figures especially related to Glendale’s budget. Phil had a phenomenal memory. I don’t think he ever forgot a face or anyone he ever met, for that matter. While we did not agree on every issue, we agreed the majority of the time. Usually Phil and I were the loyal minority on a variety of issues that came before council. We often went to out-of-town meetings together and in quiet moments of down time shared with each other details of our private lives. Quite simply, we were good friends.
Phil loved life and Nita and his family and it showed. He was a generous, caring and compassionate man. He was at all times a gentleman. He would often call people out of the blue to wish someone a happy birthday or anniversary or just to say hello. In times of crisis he was always one of the first to call to offer help. His heart was as big as his imposing stature.
We lost touch in these last few years when he moved to California. Occasionally I would get a call from him after he had read my blog or something in the Glendale Star. The last time I talked to him was last summer and he sounded like the same, old Phil. He would share family news and then launch into the topic at hand letting me know exactly what his opinion was.
Nita must be devastated but I know she has the support of their children and many, many friends who will help her through this most difficult time. My thoughts and prayers are with her and their family. Phil is in God’s hands now and I am sure that he is at peace. You will be deeply missed my friend. Good bye and God speed.