Phillip Lahey ’64
Saint John’s alumni frequently define themselves by where the school was located when they were students—Temple Street in Worcester or Main Street in Shrewsbury. Phil Lahey, as a member of the Class of 1964, knew both locations intimately.
Dr. Phillip Lahey Jr. ’64 P’96,’00
Phil Lahey at the 2005 "Passport to Our Future" Gala.
Phil began his Saint John’s experience as, in his words, “a very young and very nervous freshman” on Temple Street. His homeroom was affectionately (though not metaphorically) known as “the Dungeon.” Phil remembers fondly Brother Antoninus (now known as Brother Paul Feeney) as a demanding though kind first-year Latin teacher and Brother Plunkett and Dick Sullivan as two teachers who stretched him academically.
Phil played three years of basketball at Saint John’s. He made the junior varsity as a sophomore and played on the first Saint John’s team that Joe Lane coached. The next year, Phil had the honor of scoring the first basket ever made in a varsity game in the new gym on Main Street (now known as Coaches Pavilion).
His coach at the time, Bob Devlin, was a tremendous influence on Phil. “My father and Bob Devlin were the two most influential people in shaping the person I have become. They taught me how to be a man,” he says.
As the oldest of the five Lahey boys, Phil paved the way at Saint John’s for his brothers Jack ’66, Steve ’67, Pete ’72 and Frank ’76. After graduating from Saint John’s, Phil earned his bachelor’s degree at Holy Cross and did his medical training at Tufts and Harvard.
After school, he returned to Worcester and joined his father’s orthopedic surgical practice. Phil remembers his father as an “extremely kind and caring doctor who did not have a bad thing to say about anything.”
His father treated many Saint John’s athletes over the years, and Phil happily continues that tradition to this day. Another family tradition that Phil honors is that his practice is located in the building his father built on Quinsigamond Street, where Phil continues to use his father’s desk.
Phil is dedicated to his wife Kathy and their three children Phil ’96, Annie (Notre Dame Academy ’98), and Tim ’00. All stellar athletes, he rarely missed any of their games as they were growing up and playing sports.
“Most fathers are forced to make a choice between being a workaholic or a family man,” he says. “I am fortunate to have been able to balance an active family life with a busy orthopedic surgical practice.”
As Phil reflects on his experience at Saint John’s, the first thing he mentions is the diversity of the students: “We had kids from all different backgrounds and that made Saint John’s a vital and exciting place for me. I feel strongly that Saint John’s must remain accessible and affordable to the sons of the marvelous mix of families who now populate Worcester and Central Massachusetts. It is that mix that has made and will continue to make Saint John’s an outstanding school and a credit to the Xaverian tradition.”
From the “Passport to Our Future” Gala Program Book, April 2005.