Phillip Otto Sansone, age 75, of Bakersfield, California passed away on September 26, 2022. He was the beloved husband of Carol (nee Coombs), devoted father of Heather Ennis, son of August Sansone (deceased) and Mary Sansone (nee Hegedus) (deceased), brother of David and brother-in-law, uncle, cousin and friend to many. Phil grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, and graduated from John Adams High where he was honored as Athlete of the Year at his graduation in 1965. He began college at Cleveland State then transferred to Ohio University, graduating with a degree in Physical Education. He played varsity baseball at both CSU and OU. He moved to Bakersfield, California, in 1971 and taught Physical and Health Education at Vista, Vista West, Highland and South High Schools for 35 years. While teaching he took a sabbatical to earn a Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of Arizona.
His faith, family and friendships were the most important forces behind his life’s journey. As a teacher he was generous with his time and knowledge with his students, treating them all with respect, compassion and kindness. He always tried to understand students’ family backgrounds and life situations while having high expectations for each of his students. He never criticized and always had an ear to lend for any of them. One of his former students recalled this about Phil: “I remember Mr. Sansone as the consummate coach, referee and PE teacher he was. He was always there with an encouraging word or helpful advice to make you better as a player, and as an individual, better at whatever you were trying to accomplish.” Phil was also instrumental in creating the Kern High School District’s Health Careers Academy and was a mentor to new teachers and a baseball coach to many.
Phil loved and played multiple sports, but his favorite was baseball, and he was a lifelong fan of the Cleveland Indians. May God’s peace, grace and support be with Phil in his eternal Field of Dreams.
A Memorial Mass celebrating Phil’s life will be held at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton at 9 a.m. on November 17, 2022. Inurnment will be at Union Cemetery’s Heritage Pavilion. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to your local St. Vincent De Paul Society or SPCA.