Statement on the Passing of State Senator Phil Mastin.

Dec 3, 2012


Rep. Sander Levin today made the following statement regarding the passing of former State Senator Phil Mastin.

“Phil Mastin was a person of strong convictions who had the courage to stand up for what he believed in.  That was a quality that was an inspiration to all of us.  There was no finer and kinder gentleman than Phil whom I met in the 1960s when he and his wife Donna were part of the strong fabric of community activists in Hazel Park.  I will miss him, and extend my deepest sympathies to his beloved wife Donna and their entire family.”

With the family, I am pleased to provide the following background on Phil Mastin’s life.

Background on Philip O. Mastin, Jr.

Born May 27, 1930

Beloved husband of Donna, father of Dawn Rene (Thomas) Bobby, Cheryl Wynn (Phil J.) Brown, and Philip O. Mastin III (Alice).  Proud grandfather to 9 grandchildren and 27 great-grandchildren.

Following 15 years as an Automotive Designer (Efficient Engineering Co., Ford Truck Engineering, Chevrolet Engineering Center),Mr. Mastin began a new career in Government and Public Service.

Over a period of 25 years, Mr. Mastin served in a number of elected and appointed positions in Hazel Park, Oakland County and Michigan State governments, and in the Michigan Democratic Party including service as a Hazel Park City Councilman (1963-1968), Oakland County Supervisor (1965-1968), Oakland County Commissioner (1968-1970), Deputy Chairman and  Treasurer of the Oakland County Democratic Party, Michigan State Representative (D) 69th District (1970-1976), Pontiac City Manager (1977-1979), Director of the Downtown Development Authority in Pontiac (1979-1982), and Michigan State Senator (D) 8th District.

In 1982, following his election into the Michigan State Senate, Mr. Mastin was appointed Chairman of the Senate Labor Committee.  On November 22, 1983, Phil Mastin became the first legislator in Michigan history to be recalled from office.  His recall followed his courageous vote for a temporary state income tax increase to reduce a $1.7 billion state budget deficit inherited from a previous administration and transition the state to a constitutionally mandated balanced budget.

Following his service in the Michigan Senate, Mr. Mastin became a consultant to the National Alliance of Business helping to design and obtain funding for industrial training programs for Michigan workers.

In 1984 Phil Mastin became the manager of Government Relations for the non-profit UAW-GM Human Resource Center located in Auburn Hills, Michigan.  In that position, Mastin helped to forge many creative UAW-GM partnerships with both state and federal agencies of Labor and Education.  From 1983 – 1990, as an appointee of Governor James Blanchard, Mastin served as a founding member of the Michigan Job Training Coordinating Council, the body responsible for establishing Michigan’s job training policies and priorities.  Also in 1983, he was elected as a founding Trustee of the Michigan Quality of Work Life Council.

A two-term President of the Mental Health Association in Michigan (1987 – 1988), Phil Mastin had been a member of the state association’s Board of Director’s  from 1977 and was elected an “Honorary Board Member” in 2000.  He also served on the National Mental Health Association’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors from 1989 – 1995.  In 1996 Mr. Mastin was elected to the Board of the United Way of Michigan, serving on the Executive Committee and as Chairman of the state agency’s Public Policy Committee.

Following his retirement in 1994, Phil and Donna moved to Fenton, Michigan, where they were active members of Fenton’s United Methodist Church.  

Phil Mastin passed away on November 28, 2012.

A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday December 15, 2012 at the First United Methodist Church, 119 S. Leroy Street, Fenton, Michigan 48430.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Mental Health Association in Michigan.