HYATTSVILLE, Md. — Philip P. Houle of Hyattsville, Maryland, passed away in his sleep on Tuesday, March 7, 2017, at his home.

He was born on Aug. 29, 1945, in Oberlin, Ohio, to Dr. Marcel Paul Houle and Lois Jackson Houle. He was the oldest child in a family of eight boys and one girl. As a child, Phil often led his siblings in the family’s “fun” activities, whether it was being the first to open Christmas presents or to build an igloo in the back yard after a snow storm.

He attended St. Mary’s grammar school in Biddeford and Cheverus High School in Portland. While in high school, Phil played football and mastered the bass guitar as a rock-and-roll band member. He graduated from Marist College in 1967, and the University of Maine School of Law in 1970.

After law school, he enrolled in the University of Missouri-Kansas City of School of Law where he received a post-graduate law degree (LLM) in Real Estate Development and Finance (Urban Affairs) in 1971. Specifically, he focused on problems faced by poor and minority urban residents. While at the University of Missouri School of Law, Phil served as the graduate editor of The Urban Lawyer.

Following his legal studies, Phil worked at New Hampshire Legal Aid and Maine Pine Tree Legal Assistance where he represented poor and disadvantaged clients. Those early legal positions had a profound impact on Phil. For the rest of his life, he remained a compassionate and committed advocate for such individuals.

In 1977, Phil moved to Atlanta, Georgia, to work as legal counsel at the federal office of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). In Atlanta, Phil met and married Gail Rupert, formerly of Buffalo, New York, in 1978. From 1978 to 1984, Phil and Gail had the opportunity to live in and experience different parts of the country through Phil’s job. Phil fondly remembered those years and the places that they lived, which included Atlanta, Georgia, Dallas, Texas, and Knoxville, Tennessee. He also never forgot the lifelong friends that he made in those places.

Phil moved with his young family to Hyattsville, Maryland, in 1984 to accept the position of legal counsel at the Federal Depositors Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in Washington, D.C. At the FDIC, Phil initially oversaw the prosecution of corruption charges during the S&L banking crisis of the 1980s. He quickly rose to the level of senior counsel charged with the responsibility of issuing and overseeing federal banking regulations. Phil enjoyed his work, and his colleagues, immensely and continued with the FDIC until his retirement in 2012.

Phil’s inquisitive mind led him to think deeply and passionately about many subjects, especially politics, law and religion. He enjoyed stimulating conversations with friends and family on these subjects. He authored several published articles on legal issues that range from presidential pardons to equal protection under the Constitution.

Phil and Gail had two daughters, Katherine and Suzanne, both of whom followed Phil into the legal profession. Notwithstanding his considerable professional accomplishments, Phil’s greatest passion was time spent with his family and friends. His joy in life came from sharing the simple things with his loved ones, whether it was a family trip back to his home state of Maine, a baseball game, or just a good homemade meal. Phil also took great pleasure in maintaining his many friendships and in mentoring any young person who asked for help deciding what school to go to, how to find a job, or how to face a serious life problem. Phil had an incredibly huge heart and possessed the gift of empathy. He was generous, giving, and selfless, and always made time to assist anyone in need.

Religion and God were at the foundation of Phil’s life. Phil was a devout Catholic and extremely strong in his faith. His faith played a central role in guiding every decision that he made. His unwavering faith, and deep love for Christ, served as an example to others in the development of their own personal relationship with God.

A tragic car accident in 2012 left Phil’s wife severely injured. Since that time, Phil was constantly by her side encouraging and helping her in every way possible. His devoted attention to Gail perfectly reflects how Phil led his life as a man who placed his love and devotion to others above his own needs and desires.

Phil is survived by: his wife, Gail; daughters, Katherine and Suzanne; sister, Nancy Rice;and brothers, James, Steven David, Matthew, Thomas, John and Jeffrey.

Please join the family for a celebration of Phil’s life on March 17, 2017, beginning at 9 a.m. at the Hope Memorial Chapel, 480 Elm St., Biddeford, Maine, followed by a funeral mass at 11 a.m. at St. Joseph Church, 178 Elm St., Biddeford. Burial will follow at St. Joseph Cemetery in Biddeford.

Please visit hopememorial.com for additional information and to sign Phil’s online guest book.

Donations in memory of Phil may be made to Creative Work Systems (creativeworksystems.org) and Family First Flight (firstfamilyflight.org).