Phil Pearce – one of Marquette’s legends, is gone
It's been a rough week up north. First, Piper, the border collie mascot of the Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City, passed away on Wednesday. Now, according to MLive.com,we've learned that Phil Pearce, the owner of Phil's 550 Store in Marquette has passed away, after a year- long battle with cancer.
Phil was living in the Virgin Islands when he decided to move back to Marquette and open the store. (You might want to read that sentence one more time) Phil's 550 Store is on State Route 550, near Northern Michigan University, so it was popular with the college kids. For years, people would gather at the store every Friday night, just to hang out with Phil and party. And out of that, his fame grew. By Phil's own admission, the store didn't make much money. It was a "labor of love". But shirts with Phil's photo on them have been seen all over the world. Go to the back wall of the store and check out the photos of his fans, next time you're up in Marquette.
When I was in the U.P. this last summer, we made a point of visiting Phil's 550. I found my way through all the road construction around the college and almost drove right by the store. It's much smaller than I would've thought. And even though Phil wasn't there that day, I bought one of the hoodies with Phil's picture on the front. Glad I did.
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