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Philip "Phil" John Reynders
April 18, 1929 – June 4, 2019
Phil Reynders
Phil Reynders, 1929-2019.

Philip John Reynders


April 18, 1929 – June 4, 2019


Philip John Reynders passed away June 4, 2019, age 90 years.

Phil was born April 18, 1929 to Peter and Jeanette Reynders in South San Gabriel. They later moved to Yucaipa and he graduated from Redlands High School in 1947. Soon after graduating Phil traveled north to Modesto with $15 in his pocket to where his brother was currently living. He soon got a job as a sign painter with Pix Sign Company. In the l950s he worked several years for Sign Designs and then began his own sign business, PJ Signs, in the mid 1960s. His last job was with Yosemite Advertising, Save Mart's sign division at the time, from which he retired in 1984.

Soon after moving to Modesto he met the love of his life, Donna, who was still attending Ceres High School. Phil was drafted and was in the Korean War from 1950 -1953 where he was in communications on the trains. He returned home in January of 1953 and they were married in March making Ceres their home.

Phil had a life-long love of Yosemite and loved collecting all things Yosemite and sharing his knowledge of the park. He loved hiking and backpacking with friends and taking photos of his trips. The saying “Not All Who Wander Are Lost” fit him perfectly. Phil and Donna traveled considerably in their 65 years of marriage, once traveling to Holland to visit his mother’s birthplace and a castle where his grandfather was a groundskeeper. A true history buff, Phil was always reading a book about someplace or thing of historical interest. He liked antique cars, of which he owned several over the years.

Though not a native, he certainly considered Ceres his home. He was among the founding members of the Ceres Historical Society and helped start the Ceres Museum where he was curator for six years before Parkinson’s Disease made it too difficult for him to handle. His last two years of life were spent at Bethel Retirement Assisted Living facility in Modesto where the caregivers knew they could always joke with “Papa.” He had a great sense of humor to the very end.

He was a member of First Baptist Church in Ceres.

He leaves behind those who loved him dearly, including daughter, Sheryl Reynders Trout (Steve) of Ceres; granddaughters Tiffany Giles (Stephen), and Danelle Trout (Bobby McMillen), all of Ceres; and many nieces and nephews who always loved being around their Uncle Phil.

He was proceeded in death by parents Peter Carl and Jeanette Reynders, brother Richard Reynders, sister Lillian Martin, and wife Donna Reynders.