November 8, 1950 – March 19, 2023
Phillip Gannia, age 72 died of medical complications on Sunday, March 19, 2023 in his home in Shelby Township.
Phil is survived by his son Ryan Frans of New York, his sister, Evangeline “Vange” Gannia of Knoxville, Tennessee and second wife Cindy. He is predeceased in death by his first wife Suzie, brother Frank, and his sister Sandy of Detroit. He has a niece Angel Gannia in Nokomis Florida with her children Michael and Kylie.
Phil was born on November 8, 1950 in Detroit to parents George and Theresa Gannia. He attended Assumption School in Detroit. After high school Phil entered the military during the Vietnam War and served with the 173rd Infantry Brigade.
“Phil G” as he was commonly known, was a very talented poet, musician, and song writer. He associated with many classic Detroit rockers and particularly with Rob Tyner of the MC-5 band. Phil later participated in a group made up of fellow Vietnam vets called Steve Manteiv and released an album titled Ambush. The band played many gigs especially at the famous and notorious Old Miami Bar in the Cass Corridor.
Phil’s passion was to recognize and support his fellow veterans. As an early member of Vietnam Veterans of America, Detroit Chapter 9 he took on many roles, especially in the area of security where he served as sergeant of arms and later chapter vice president and president. He eventually joined the Veterans of Foreign Wars and became an honor guard captain, post officer and commander. His team went on to win many awards under his leadership.
Phil loved to participate with fellow vets on their annual River Rats Canoe Club excursions held around Flag and Father’s Day in June. He was always a highlight of the event through his silly antics and “wild” disposition. He would bring his guitar and lead the ceremony where many US flags would be dedicated in honor of fallen brothers and sisters.
Phil held a huge wealth of knowledge regarding the US Civil War and enjoyed sharing stories with anyone interested. His family and friends will always remember him as a caring and giving patriot. Phil’s remains have been interred with honors at the Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly, Michigan followed by a celebration of his life at his VFW Post in Shelby, Michigan.