I've been asked by my good friend, Mattisse, to inform the Wikipedia community of Philcha's death on June 4, 2012. I really didn't know Philcha well, he was one of those editors who was always there, always helping, with very little drama. I've just spent the last few minutes looking over Philcha's talk page. His interests were broad, from science fiction to zoology. While our loss is not as great as that of the wife he leaves behind him, it is still considerable.
While Mattisse is not able to edit directly, I think I can do no better than quoting what she says in her email to me.
Philcha struggled for three years with his aggressive brain tumor, always continuing to try to edit wikipedia. Others knew of his struggles and were kind about his obviously failing abilities. He kept in regular contact with me. I can't write this without becoming overwhelmed with a painful sorrow. He was so upbeat and special and above all, kind. He had just written me that he had already lived two years beyond the one year he was given after diagnosis, but his deterioration was evident. He never complained.
Philip Chalmers, called Philcha at Wikipedia, was taken ill on 3 December 2009 and diagnosed as having a brain tumour – a grade 4 glioblastoma multiforme. Following a debulking operation in Kings College Hospital, London, on 31 December 2009 (cutting out the inside of the tumour), Philip has received radiotherapy and chemotherapy at Maidstone Hospital from mid-February to the end of March 2010, and courses of chemotherapy at times later.
The average life expectancy for patients with grade 4 primary brain cancers is 1 year. To date Philip has survived for 2¼ years and is hoping to have several more productive years.
I don't do Featured Articles, as I reckon I can do at least 2 Good Articles in the same time, which is better for readers. This and the first paragraph of this are good examples of the extra work required for FAs.
Thanks for all the work you did in making Portia fimbriata a certified "Good Article"! That really is a very detailed and thorough article! (And that was certainly a detailed and thorough review.) Your work is much appreciated.
Thanks for taking up the His Band and the Street Choir review and going through the article thoroughly, showing me in great detail what was needed to improve it, suggesting techniques, links and language style. This will not only help the article in question, but any other I choose to take to GA in the future. You deserve this! Kitchen roll (talk) 21:30, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
The Anti-Flame Barnstar
To Philcha for valiant efforts, above and beyond the call of duty, to mediate in the case of D51 vs MF. When writing your sage words and your appeals for calm you must have felt like a lone voice, but I noticed and I was grateful. Your voice is the sort of voice that makes Wikipedia worthwhile for many. Dolphin51 (talk) 07:45, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
The Special Barnstar
Philcha, for being who you are - totally irreplacable! from —mattisse (Talk) 22:25, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
The Music Barnstar
For the excellent and thorough job you did reviewing the complicated but important Mr. Tambourine Man article, I award you this barnstar. Rlendog (talk) 21:35, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
The Guidance Barnstar
I would like to thank you and Cliff smithtalk for your help even though I didn't get around to your suggestions... i feel bad now :( But your small contributions helped, becuase it's the small contribs that add up in the end :P... have a good one Bugboy52.4 | =-= 02:31, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
To Philcha, for attempting to address the bias that our invertebrate second-cousins are up against in being ignored in mainspace (and the image is of an invertebrate too) cheers, Casliber (talk·contribs) 13:02, 2 November 2009 (UTC)
For the extensive work and excellent guidance in reviewing the Sperm Whale article, so that this important article could regain its GA status, I hereby award you the Mammal Barnstar Rlendog (talk) 17:16, 10 November 2008 (UTC) Danilot (talk) 19:06, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
The Tireless Contributor Barnstar
Either you have an army of impersonators, or you've completely taken over the Biology section at GAN! You've been doing amazing work, both contributing lots of content and giving impressively thorough GA reviews. delldot∇. 06:12, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
The Half Barnstar
For the great work Philcha (a British) and Krakatoa (an American) were able to produce together in order to reach a neutral point-of-view in the article Howard Staunton so that it reached GA-class, I award to each of them half of this barnstar. SyG (talk) 08:30, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
The Content Creativity Barnstar
For the tremendous work and material you put in the article Alexander Alekhine during the GA-review, I award you this barnstar. SyG (talk) 21:44, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
The Working Man's Barnstar
For excellent work on Chess topics:Staunton, Blackburn, Zukertort , Steinitz and Anderssen. I am very happy to award you this barnstar. SunCreator (talk) 18:15, 10 May 2008 (UTC)