Lorn man Phil "Saf" Croyle loses his two-year battle with Motor Neurone Disease

LORN LEGEND: About 800 mourners gathered to say farewell to Phil "Saf" Croyle who lost his two-year battle with Motor Neurone Disease on June 26.

LORN LEGEND: About 800 mourners gathered to say farewell to Phil "Saf" Croyle who lost his two-year battle with Motor Neurone Disease on June 26.

There were many facets to Lorn man Phil “Saf” Croyle, in fact far too many to mention.

The 61-year-old who battled during his final two years of life with the debilitating Motor Neurone disease, maintained the mantra that giving up was never an option.

He lived life to the fullest, caught up with his mates despite mobility and communication problems, and fought till the death to stay with his family.

To many, Phil was Maitland’s all-round nice guy. He worked at different places, socialised with different people, worked for his community and most of all worked tirelessly for his wife Margo and children Sally, Ben, Jess and grandson Jarrah.

His funeral was testimony to a much loved and respected man with an estimated 800 mourners spilling out onto the concourse of Newcastle Memorial Park’s North Chapel on July 3.

They came from all walks of life. The bowlers, the bikies and the boozers, many who’d love nothing more than a couple of snappy ales with Phil when he was President of Lorn Park Bowling Club.

Phillip Allan Croyle was born on December 13, 1955 in Maitland. He attended Nillo School at Lorn and then Maitland Boys High School.

After leaving school he took up an apprenticeship which led to work at National Textiles, Rutherford as a mechanic. He later became a fitter and was then made demolition supervisor and involved in the dismantling and selling of equipment from “the mill” to Indonesia.

After being unemployed for a year and not being one to sit idle, Phil soon found work. He took on a position at Maitland Hospital as a handyman. The position gave him the opportunity to visit any patients he knew.

As a former member of the Gladiators, one of Phil’s passions was motorbikes, in particular Triumphs. He was also a keen sidecar/motor bike racer.

Phil lived his final years to the fullest, taking every opportunity to be with family and close friends. He packed a lot into his life. A lot of living and a lot of loving. We should all take heed of his courage and dignity, two qualities he embraced until the end. 

He died peacefully at home in Margo’s arms in the early hours of June 26.

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