Phillip B. Sky

Date of Death: 6/16/2017

Phillip B. Sky of Altoona PA left this world June 16, 2017, surrounded by his loving family. He was predeceased by his parents Israel and Tessie (Cohen) Sky. He is survived by his wife Roz Roth Sky, the love of his life for almost 54 years of marriage, his children Dave and Tobi Sky Rispoli, Izzy and Dana Pettinato Sky, grandchildren Sam and Mandy Sky, Tyler and Casey Rispoli, brothers and sisters Ted and Vera Sky, Asher Sky, Marcia Sky Bregman and Davida Sky, and so many special family members.


Phil graduated AAHS in 1958, and Penn State University in 1962. While at Penn State, he was introduced to Roz, a Pitt student and they hit it off. They married in 1963. After serving in the army as a cook in 1963, Phil discovered he had an interest in the culinary arts and worked in the kitchen of the Four Seasons Restaurant, the Newarker at the Newark Airport, and Best Provisions, Inc.


They eventually moved to State College where the pair continued a livelihood in various aspects of the food business, owning and operating La Boucherie butcher shop, Cold, Inc., Nittany Beverage and the Hungry Sheik Restaurant; then Sid’s Lounge and the Howard Johnson’s in Duncansville.


Phil and Roz moved permanently to Altoona in 1971 where Phil joined his family’s business Sky Bros. Inc. Food Distributor. Phil, worked through all aspects of the company until it was discovered that he was salesman extraordinaire in the family business. Phil, “Always an innovator!” quoted by Aunt Rose Sky Port years ago, was a pioneer in creating food show extravaganzas as a way to bring together employees and customers in a party like atmosphere. Additionally, during this period, Phil was a founding member of Lo-Temp Trucking, and Delta Computers, that eventually evolved into Delta Health Systems.


Phil attributed much of Sky Bros.’ success to their philosophy of treating employees like family. Along with family, they were part of creating a workplace atmosphere based on respect, fun, competition, and top-notch service. 


Upon the selling of Sky Bros. to Sara Lee Corp in the mid 1980s, Phil “retired” to pursue a passion in food and marketing through his new business To Market Two Markets, where along with his family, he developed and patented Botticelli’s Famous Nudels, Oohs and Aahs Cooking with Kids and his infamous Oats To Go breakfast wraps. Simultaneously, Phil continued his entrepreneurial spirit with involvement in In-Range, Chemcut, WINN Capital, Skyward Investments, Toona Town Investors, Empower3, Procare, EIC, among others! 


Phil was the inventor of multi-tasking, always available to consult entrepreneurs young and old, and eventually he hooked up with Penn State Altoona’s Enactus, the Sheetz Entrepreneurial Center and the Sheetz Fellows Program. Penn State University has been a shared love between Roz and Phil. The Port Sky Cafe at Penn State Altoona has benefited from their generosity, as has the campus from their contributions. Phil and Roz jointly created the STAR (Special Team Always Remember) ongoing Penn State Football Scholarship to recognize the seniors of the 2012 team and their resilience. Phil is a member of the Penn State Alumni Society Association, as well as the Ivyside Society and Mt. Nittany Society.


Phil has actively been involved in the Jewish Federation, the Israel Bonds Program, and early on, the B’nai B’rith Organization. He was a member of Agudath Achim Congregation and the Jewish Memorial Center of which his father and uncles were founding members. Along with Roz, Phil was a major supporter of his community and so many great non-profit organizations, including the American Cancer Society, Easter Seals, the MS Society, Griffith Family Foundation, Home Nursing, Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art, the Blair County Arts Foundation, the Central PA Humane Society, the UPMC Foundation and he and Roz inspired the “To The Sky Foundation,” under the CPCF. They generously support organizations including the JED Foundation for the awareness and prevention of suicide, AASD’s music program, and The Sky Foundation, which aims to raise money for awareness and early detection of pancreatic cancer. 


His hobbies past and present, included winemaking, woodworking, biking and exercising, golfing, cooking and attending his grandchildren’s events.


Of all of Phil’s achievements, he considered to be his family to be his biggest success. Instilling family values, work ethic, love and spending time supporting those he loved.  And Phil and his award-winning smile were loved by all.

A service in Phil’s memory will be held on Monday, June 19 at 11:30 am at the Agudath Achim Synagogue. In lieu of visitation, friends will be received at a Celebration of Life for Phil at the Port Sky Cafe, Penn State Altoona between 2 and 6:00 pm.

In memory of Phil, the family suggests that contributions be made to the “Phillip B. Sky Entrepreneurial Scholarship”at Penn State Altoona, The Kazmaier Building, 1419 12th Ave., Altoona PA 16601.

Arrangements are by E. Merrill Smith Funeral Home, Inc.


Phil Sky by Randy Markle and Cindi Lanager
Deepest sympathy by Nancy Lingenfelter
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