This month’s client hero is Phil Hewson. He was our founder, father, grandfather, and a recent great-grandfather. He passed away this spring after a long and full life.
The writing of this has weighed on all of us. He has taught us much and we will never forget the roots of our company. He was indeed proud to see his son and grandchildren taking over the company and taking it in new and different directions.
If you knew Phil, you knew he was the ultimate storyteller. He told the best stories (although not always the shortest). We are sure he never met a person who did not interest him. His word meant everything to him and deals were done with a handshake and the ceremonial shot of whiskey.
He came into this business after a strong career with the largest business machine company in the world, NCR (The National Cash Register Company). He wanted the opportunity to duplicate what he loved so much about his career with NCR; the ability to travel the province, meet new people, and to find a way to help them out. Financial management and life insurance was a natural for him.
Phil married his grade-school sweetheart (nope that is not a typo), Sheila. They were together for 82 years and married for 68. In their entire lives together they were apart from each other for only two nights, and those two nights were not consecutive. Yes, his greatest story was his very own love story, where his wife Sheila was indeed the leading lady.
“The strongest memory I have of my Dad around his career is just how much fun he was having”, says his son John. “Ultimately that is what encouraged me to go into the business. His desire to help others aligned with mine. I like that we could contribute and help people when they were making some of the biggest decisions of their lives. We would be there in the good times, in the bad, and through generations. I think that desire is what drove us then and is still the foundation of TCM today.”
As you might expect Phil had some advice when it came to money. Here are some of his best tips and comments:
“Be sure to share your money with a warm handshake rather than a cold one.” Which to him meant share your money while you are still alive.
“Always have enough money tucked away so that you can help someone who needs it without a second thought.”
“Run your business with a little fear in you.” He also used this philosophy on his wife Sheila when he would convince her he needed to buy a new car. Phil loved his cars and if you were lucky enough to buy a used car from Phil you were very fortunate.
“You can’t tell who has wealth anymore.”
“We can afford to do it, so why not?” Although this sounds like a carefree philosophy it really was a reflection of Phil and Sheila’s dedication to financial planning. If the money was not set aside they didn’t buy it. They had both confidence and control over their money; a goal we all try to achieve.
“You know all your Grandma wants to do is spend all our money on you children and grandchildren.” It was always tough for us to refute that one!
Phil’s favourite money moment: getting a 25-year mortgage locked in at 6% when everyone else was renewing at 18%. Nicely done Phil!
Phil inspired all of us, he will always be TCM’s hero and frankly if not for Phil none of this would exist. As Phil liked to state regarding TCM . . . “I guess I started something”.
His story was really about the stuff of everyday life and his legacy is to challenge us everyday to make a life, not just a living. We accept the challenge.
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to celebrate what Phil Hewson has meant to our family and business, with you. It means the world to us.
-John, Taylor, Connor