Remembering Phil Bohlander, the Quintessential Therapist

March 19, 2024

A few weeks ago, Wyandot BHN lost one of our own. Phil Bohlander, a long-time therapist, passed away after an accident. Phil had been a steady and reassuring force in this organization for more than 30 years, most recently as a therapist on our adult outpatient therapy team. Phil mentored me when I first joined the Wyandot family as a new therapist in 1993. And he has done the same for countless other therapists over the past three decades. His passing is a significant loss for our staff, our clients and the larger community.

Phil was truly the quintessential therapist and one of the best therapists I have ever known. He loved his work. And to him, it wasn’t work. He just loved seeing people get better. He would end his workday at Wyandot Center and go work in his private practice. He was always non-judgmental, filled with compassion and frequently went above and beyond for his clients.

Judy Kotecki-Martin, who worked alongside Phil for 23 years and worked next door to him for the last 7, perhaps says it best. She describes him as more than a coworker. Rather he was a friend, a brother, a wise mentor and a healer. To Judy, Phil was a calming presence – so much so that she requested to work in the office next to him when the outpatient therapy team relocated in 2017. Judy told Phil on several occasions that he should write a textbook. And while he doesn’t leave behind a physical book, Judy says Phil did write his book every day through his interactions with clients and staff.

Two weeks ago, we hosted a celebration remembering Phil. It was heartening to see so many current and former staff and others come together to pay tribute to Phil and share about all of the wonderful things that made Phil who he was. Phil loved a good Hawaiian shirt. And he is also the only former trash collector I know who became a therapist.

It is truly difficult to sum up the impact that Phil had on our staff, clients and community in his 33 years at Wyandot BHN. He was beloved by so many and he will certainly be missed. My thoughts go out to Phil’s family and friends, as well as to all of those who were lucky enough to know him.