Philip Rodolfo Vilaro

September 2, 1955 ~ October 1, 2023 (age 68) 68 Years Old

Philip Vilaro Obituary

Philip Rodolfo Vilaro, beloved husband, father, brother, uncle, and son, passed away on Sunday, October 1, 2023 doing what he loved best – watching the Minnesota Vikings play with his sons at his side.

Phil was born in Paxton, IL on September 2, 1955 to the late Rodolfo Edwin Vilaro and Audrey Galpin. He was a husband of 25 years to Teresa Irene Vilaro, who passed away on February 24, 2017 after a long battle with endometrial cancer.

As a retired Environmental Health Specialist with a PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology from Duke University and a Master’s in Biological Sciences from Illinois State University, Phil was an absolute encyclopedia of knowledge. Before Google was a thing, we had Phil to answer any and all of our off-the-cuff questions.

But what he arguably loved discussing most of all was football – specifically, the Vikings. As a lifelong fan, family gatherings revolved around what time the Vikings were playing. We wouldn’t dream of starting a Thanksgiving feast without Uncle Phil’s legendary ham, so that meant working around kickoff. On any given Sunday, all you had to do was sit next to Phil for the most in-depth (and colorful) commentary around. As such, it’s only fitting that his last moments were spent at a Vikings game – exactly where he wanted to be.


Phil is survived by two sons, Matthew Scott Vilaro and Brian Michael Vilaro, honorary grandson Matthew Shaw, stepmother Annette LaMaire, sister-in-law Ursula P. Long and husband Daniel R. Long, Jr., sister-in-law Amy P. Cannady and husband Stephen Cannady, brother-in-law David Pennebaker, cousins Darlene Strong and Jon Porter, nephew Daniel R. Long III and wife Tiffany Long, nieces Claire Long, Anna Long, Isabel Long, Maria Pennebaker, Shannon Smith and husband Jonathan Smith, grandnephews Landon Smith, Jacob Smith, Connor Smith, Mason Smith, Eric Smith, and grandniece Eleanor Smith.

In addition to his wife, father, and mother, he was preceded in death by father-in-law Donald Edward Pennebaker, mother-in-law Eleanor Pennebaker, and brother-in-law Eric John Pennebaker.

The family will receive friends from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. Thursday, October 12, 2023, at Strickland & Jones Memorial Funeral Services. Funeral mass will be conducted at 12:00 p.m. Friday, October 13, 2023, by Father Robert P. Staley at Saint Matthew Catholic Church, 1001 Mason Road, Durham, NC 27712. 


Honorary pallbearers will be Stephen Cannady, Chip Kieswetter, Daniel Long, Danny Long, David Pennebaker, and Brady Smith.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to “LONG LAW OFFICES TRUST ACCOUNT” for the benefit of Matt Shaw, a minor child. Phil spent the last few years helping to care for and raise three-year-old Matt and loved him dearly. All donated funds will be sent to the current custodian of this minor child to assist in providing for his needs. The mailing address is Long Law Offices, PA, P.O. Box 1038, Roxboro, NC 27573.

Arrangements are by Strickland and Jones Memorial Funeral Services, 1810 Durham Road, Roxboro, NC
27573. Online condolences may be made at

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October 12, 2023

6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
Strickland and Jones Memorial Funeral Services
1810 Durham Road
Roxboro, NC 27573

Funeral Mass
October 13, 2023

12:00 PM
Saint Matthews Catholic Church
1001 Mason Road
Durham, NC 27712


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