Phillip Shamel

Phillip Paul Shamel

Friday, February 4th, 1938 - Tuesday, July 28th, 2020
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On February 4, 1938, a special little boy was born. He was adopted by loving parents Ruth & Chester Shamel and lived in Wooster, Ohio, with adopted siblings Sally and John.

From a young age he knew he wanted to fly airplanes. He and his friend Terry would go to the airport and volunteer to clean planes to learn more about flying and how an airplane worked. He was infatuated and quickly developed a passion for flight.

Phil was an amazing young man. He put Jesus first in all things, played football, and was the class president in high school. This remarkable adolescent became an even better man due to the foundation built while seeking to be the best he could in every aspect of his life.

After a couple of years in college he decided to join the Navy and pursue his career in the aviation industry. He was very proud to be a fighter pilot and fly off the Intrepid, which is now a museum berthed on the Hudson River in New York. He had many adventure's and would regale family and friends with his stories. The Navy taught him to be an exceptional man and awarded him a Purple Heart for his bravery.

Phil met the love of his life, Jackie, in Santa Barbara in 1964. In the early days of courting he visited the Captains quarters for a “private discussion” a couple of times for some of his antics of flyby's over Jackie's dental office. They married a year later when he was hired to fly for American Airlines and moved to New York. He loved Jackie unconditionally and called her his “Bride” until he could no longer speak the beautiful word. His devotion to Jackie is unprecedented and conveyed with much passion and respect. Phil and Jackie celebrated 54 years of marriage together always living as they did in their youth and were each other’s champions in life. They are a perfect example of love, honor, and forgiveness.

The happy couple moved to California in 1969 and started a family. Daughter’s Tanya and Heathor were the delight of his life. He was an exemplary Dad and taught his daughters to be humble, brave, and strong. His favorite expression to his girls as he dropped them off at school or other activity was “Soar with the Eagles”. He was deeply involved with Tanya’s and Heathor’s lives and attended every event possible.

Family was at the top of his list and holidays were always celebrated with Grandparents, Aunt’s, Uncles, Cousins, and close family friends. Spirited discussions were inevitable at the celebrations but Phil was a wonderful peacemaker and commanded the large group with integrity and respect. Phil’s recognition of extended family earned him the title of favorite uncle and number one cousin (not to mention “best Dad ever”). To know him is to love him and strive to be as wonderful as he was.

In Thousand Oaks, California, Phil & Jackie were always social and made many life long friends. To them, friends are family. Contagiously happy and courteous at all times he attracted people from all walks of life. Parties and gatherings were common in the Shamel house as well as celebrations, casino parties, and other block parties organized by the couple. Fun always took precedence and was an important piece of daily life.

In 1983, Phil was promoted to Captain with American Airlines and the family moved to Denton, Texas, where many new friends were made. Phil and Jackie brought their “fun” expertise with them to Denton and their home was again the place for the best events. Adults and kids alike could not get enough of their infectious love for fun and creative ways to celebrate.

Phil flew for American Airlines for 32 years and retired as a Check Airman in 1998. Due to his tenure with the Navy and American Airlines he flew all over the world and during Desert Storm he was honored to volunteer to transport soldiers to the battle field. To his delight, he was able to bring his love of the military and flying together once again and support America.

He dedicated his life to serving his community and helping anyone he came in contact with. He finally got his two boys when his girls got married and Joel and John entered his life. Phil loved and supported “his boys” and was proud of them both. He learned a lot from Joel and John and taught them much in return. They had a relationship of mutual appreciation, love, and respect.

Phil molded his life around God and studied scripture on a daily basis. He would often begin his day with joy by reciting Psalm 118:24, “This is the day the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.” His walk with the Lord saved many souls. His final word in this world was “Amen”, exhibiting his resounding faith.

It is impossible to sum up 82 years in a few paragraphs. Every life Phil touched was enhanced for the better. He was someone you never forgot and he surely never forgot you. He was a perfect example of how to live and love. His family describes him as their friend, teacher, protector, mentor, and heart.

Captain Phil Shamel took his last flight on Tuesday, July 28th, at home, surrounded by his loving family. He finally has his own wings and Heaven is blessed with his beautiful soul.

A memorial service has not been scheduled at this time and will be postponed to a later date due to the pandemic.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to

The Walk to End Alzheimer’s, Captain Phil’s Angels Team:

Denton County Veteran’s Coalition: Denton County Veterans Coalition

Denton County Veterans Coalition
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Posted at 12:06pm
My sincere sympathy. I wish my mom were still alive so I could send her special peanut butter cookies that Phil loved.
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