PEPPERELL– Philip, “Phil” Birtwell Temple, 82, of Pepperell, MA died peacefully on the morning of December 11, 2020, in his home with his family and supported by Hospice.
Phil was born February 20, 1938, in Woburn, MA, the son of John and Kathleen (Birtwell) Temple. The oldest of four children, he grew up in Lynnfield, MA, later moving to Leominster, MA where he attended Jr, and Senior High School. After attending Trinity College, Hartford, CN, Phil studied at The University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. Graduating with a D.D.S. he joined the U.S. Army as a Captain in the Dental Corps, stationed at Ft. McPherson, Atlanta, GA.
Phil loved the out of doors, including hiking, sailing and camping. As a youth he spent summers messing around with boats at Little Neck, Ipswich, MA, and for many summers with his family enjoying Squam Lake. He attended William Lawrence Camp, Tuftonboro, NH as a camper and counselor, where he met his wife, of 57 years, Diane (Powers) Temple. They shared a love for nature together, camping, kayaking, bird watching and exploring with their family across the United States and Maritime Canadian Provinces. For many years, photography was a special focus for Phil, especially after retirement. He was a member of the Forum, a Nashua, NH photography club, where he perfected his dark room techniques for black and white photographs.
Phil loved to read and investigate ideas, both political and philosophic. In his last years, when disease limited his activity, he participated in tutorials on his computer for bread making and watercolor painting and listened to organ concerts on the grand organs of Europe. Phil was always curious about how things worked, and he asked profound questions. He loved to watch his wife, Diane gardening, and they shared the hobby of landscaping, building stonewalls, terraced gardens, taking down trees, and planting and pruning selected species of trees and shrubs. Phil made making home maintenance and improvements a part of his life. Diane used to say that Phil could fix anything. His sons, Mark and Jon, learned many skills working beside their dad.
Phil practiced dentistry in Harvard, MA where he was a Finance and School Committee member, and where his sons, Mark and Jonathan, grew up. The family later moved to Pepperell, where he had a dental practice from which he retired.
Phil is survived by his wife, Diane Temple of Pepperell, his sister, Sally Cavanaugh, of Wakefield, MA, and his sister-in- law, Peg Temple, of Moultonborough, NH, his sons, Mark Temple (and wife Cheryl) of Bolton, MA and Jonathan Temple, of Alton, NH (and former wife Cathi Temple of Newmarket, NH) and grandchildren: Zachary Temple, Tricia Temple and Caitlin Temple, and a number of nieces and nephews.
Phil was predeceased by his brothers, Frederic Temple (and wife Kathleen) of Oxford, MA, and Thomas Temple, of Moultonborough, NH.
Plans for a family graveside memorial at Bellevue Cemetery, Harvard ,and a celebration of his life with family and friends will occur when we can all gather safely in 2021. Donations in Phil’s memory can be made to the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, 214 Main Street, P.O. Box 412, Nashua, NH 03061.
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