Durgan's Birdland

Durgan's Birdland

From Jennifer Ulrich

We've created this site for those who live outside of Buffalo and will not be able to attend the memorial fundraiser. Any donation is greatly appreciated.

Support this campaign

Subscribe to follow campaign updates!

More Info

In the words of his finacé Evelyn, "If I had to define Philip in a traditional way, I would say he was a brilliant painter, talented writer, and a loving father.  But, he was so much more than that...Philip was a pure soul, he was the most amazing person I have met, and there has never been before, nor will there be after, anyone who will come close to who he was.  Underneath all of the "grrrr"  (as he would call it) he had the most beautiful heart of anyone I have encountered. 

He would help anyone--anytime--whether it was repairing someone's car at no charge, buying a keyboard and jazz CDs for a friend who was living his last days in a nursing home, or just helping a friend (or stranger) who was in trouble and just needed to talk. He was always available to ease someone's suffering.

He would meet people and after talking with them for a while, he would decide that he could help them be excited about life--encourage them to travel and explore.  He would give them copies of  "On the Road" or "Hobo."  He would pass along his favorite jazz CDs with a story about how each inspired him to paint.  He would tell them his personal stories about all of the crazy adventures that he had during his lifetime--and tell them to "get out there, and experience life before you get caught up in all of the bullshit."

 He would give away his paintings to friends and family, and say that he was so happy just knowing that they were bringing joy to people.  I witnessed him on countless occasions giving his last dollar to someone who looked as though they had less than he.  He was this extraordinary combination of complex and solitary--and most times preferred to stay at home and create--yet, he could go out into the world, and strike up a conversation with anyone, talk about anything, and make even the most miserable person laugh.  Those who met him, never forgot him.  He had the ability to connect with people in such a profound way, and it came so naturally to him, that I would say that I was pretty sure that he was an angel because everyone was drawn to him in almost a spiritual way.  A way that seemed as though you had known him in a previous life. A way that made you want to keep coming back to just be near him. 

Phil was the kind of man who would tell you that he loved you several times per day--in fact, he would wake me up in the middle of the night to say I love you. He was so full of life, and love, and creativity.  He was-- in a word that in my opinion isn't big enough to describe him--extraordinary.

He would often tell me that he wanted to live a simple life, full of art, music, love, and happiness--and that he wanted that for his children too.  Anything that you are able to give will go directly to his children.  They were his world. 

The world has definitely lost one of the greatest people I have known.  The only person who truly brought me peace.  I count each day spent with him as the luckiest of my life."


Campaign Wall

Join the Conversation

Sign in with your Facebook account or