Everett native recalled for restoring old tugboat

LAKE STEVENS — Philip Marvin Foubert Jr. stood at a familiar place not long before his death. Too frail to walk down the stairs, he gazed out at Port Gardner from a railing above the Everett docks.

“I think he had saltwater in his veins,” said his youngest daughter, Linda Reeves of Marysvill

e. “His life here was tied to the Port of Everett area.”

Philip Foubert died June 11 at the age of 89.

His life was intertwined with the history of Everett.

The American Boiler Works was his father’s business and it became his first home when he was born on Jan. 6, 1922. His parents and three sisters lived on the top floor of the building on Hewitt Avenue.

In 1928, the family moved to High Street, and Philip Foubert spent time with his younger sister, Connie, at local beaches.

He graduated from Everett High School in 1940. Shortly after, he served in the Army and married Shirley Scott at 19.

In the 1950s, he became a popular area race car driver and served as president and trustee of the Roadster Racing Association.

He later became a co-owner of American Boiler Works, a custom metal fabricator, where he worked until retiring in 1977.

The couple had three daughters, Jeanie Browne of Anacortes, Phyllis Wilbourne of Everett, and Reeves.

His self discipline was seen as a hallmark by his children, Reeves said.

“My dad didn’t need to raise his voice, he was just respected,” Reeves said. “You never wanted to disappoint him.”

One of his brother-in-laws, Fred Coffey, said he had a remarkable reputation in the community.

He had many interests, Coffey said.

Foubert restored his 1926 tugboat, the Nadine, and used the boat to take his family to Hat Island on vacations.

He purchased the boat for $600 in 1961. It had no engine and was in bad condition, but he had a vision.

“He took it apart and put it back together like a puzzle,” Reeves said. “He turned an old tugboat into a yacht.”

A small, dusty sign in his garage read: “Boat (BoT) n. — A hole in the water surrounded by wood into which one pours money.” It still hangs next to a poster-size, framed photo of the Nadine.

After his first marriage ended, Philip Foubert married Mary Burgett in 1969.

The two devoted their lives to each other until her death in 2008.

After Mary’s death, Reeves made her father a photo blanket with his favorite picture of Mary. The blanket had a life-size picture of her. It stretched out to his shoulder — the same height as his wife had once stood.

When Philip Foubert was staying at an assisted living home, a caregiver often noticed flashes of light coming from his bedroom.

He was shining a flashlight to look at the blanket on the wall.

“Her smile would be the last thing he would see before he fell asleep,” Reeves said.

Philip Foubert refused to stay at the nursing home regardless of his condition. He had things to do.

Reeves left small notes stuck to places in his kitchen as a helpful reminder. Philip Foubert could do anything that he wanted to do — but cook.

“Even when he got to the point where he couldn’t do much, he would do what he could,” Reeves said.

Lindsylee Wheadon: 425-339-3453; lwheadon@heraldnet.com.

Talk to us

More in Local News

The town post office in Index, Washington on Wedesday, Nov. 29, 2023.  (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Index, smallest town in Snohomish County, is No. 1 in voter turnout

Index has beaten the Snohomish County ballot return rate in each of the last 10 years. Snohomish County leaders have a few theories as to why.

Founder and Executive Director Pa Ousman Joof, alongside Lynnwood Mayor Christine Frizzell, right, prepares to cut the ribbon during the grand opening of the Washington West African Center on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023, in Lynnwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Born out of struggle, West African Center flourishes in Lynnwood

African music filled the room Saturday at 19203 36th Ave. West, for the grand opening of the nonprofit’s new state headquarters.

An STI clinic opened Friday, Dec. 1, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Free STI clinic opens in Everett after 14-year hiatus — and as rates spike

The county-run facility will provide treatment and resources for prevention of sexually transmitted infections.

Graffiti covers the eastern side of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish County Cascade Unit on Friday, Dec. 1, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Again, Boys and Girls Club tagged with suspected gang signs in Everett

Residents on Cascade Drive say their neighborhood has been the scene of excessive graffiti and sometimes gunfire in the past year.

A suspected gas explosion on Wednesday destroyed a house in the 19700 block of 25TH DR SE in Bothell, Washington. (Snohomish Regional Fire & Rescue)
After a newly bought Bothell house exploded, experts urge caution

The owners had closed on their purchase of the house just two days earlier. No one was hurt in the explosion.

A sign in front of the AquaSox front office references the upcoming Everett City Council vote on a sum of $1.1 million to give to outside contractors to help upgrade a new stadium on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett AquaSox stadium upgrade gets $1.1M green light from city

City officials want to keep the team in Everett. But will they play in a new stadium downtown in 2027? Or an updated Funko Field?

Joseph David Emerson, left, 44, was arraigned in Multnomah County Circuit Court on Tues., Oct. 24, 2023, in Portland, Ore. Emerson, a pilot, is accused of attempting to disable the engines of a plane on which he was riding while off-duty last Sunday. Emerson pleaded not guilty Tuesday. (Dave Killen/The Oregonian via AP, Pool)
Pilot indicted over Everett in-flight sabotage incident, but not for attempted murder

Joseph David Emerson on Tuesday was indicted on a charge of endangering an aircraft and 83 counts of recklessly endangering another person.

Brenda Stonecipher, left, and Mary Fosse
Everett council president pitches ban on serving in 2 elected offices

Departing City Council member Brenda Stonecipher’s ordinance would only apply to one current member, Mary Fosse, who feels “targeted.”

Gov. Jay Inslee chats with attendees during a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Evergreen Manor Family Services Center on Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Gov. Inslee to seek $50M more toward opioid education, treatment

Inslee announced the plan Monday before meeting with treatment providers, advocates and others in Everett.

Logo for news use, for stories regarding Washington state government — Olympia, the Legislature and state agencies. No caption necessary. 20220331
Washington lawmakers begin to drop bills ahead of upcoming session

Legislation so far covers areas like insulin pricing, unemployment benefits for striking workers, and impounding vehicles for people who drive without insurance.

Herald photographers Olivia Vanni and Ryan Berry traveled around Snohmoish County amid near-record flooding Tuesday to capture the scene.
GALLERY: Record flooding in Snohomish County

Herald photographers captured the scene Tuesday across Arlington, Sultan and Monroe.

Providence Regional Medical Center Everett. (Olivia Vanni/The Herald)
Providence Swedish tightens COVID, mask policy

Citing a rise in respiratory illness, local hospitals and clinics will require masks for care.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.