Philip W. Wilkinson ’55

Philip Wardner Wilkinson
January 6, 1936 – October 13, 2022

Phil graduated from Williston Academy, a preparatory school in Easthampton, MA., and then attended Colgate University to earn his undergraduate degree. During his college years, Phil was a successful athlete earning his Varsity Letter for Soccer and Track & Field. He graduated from Colgate in 1959 with a degree in Economics; afterward, he continued his education and attended graduate school at Northwestern University in Chicago, IL earning a Master’s Degree in Business Administration.

Immediately after graduating from Northwestern, Phil moved to New York City, taking a job in Product Development with the American Mustard company French’s. He lived in a fantastic apartment on the Upper Westside of Central Park!

Shortly after moving to New York City, Phil met and married the love of his life, Mary Rothmann. Phil and Mary were married on May 9th, 1970, and soon began to plan their epic off-shore sailing trip aboard “Vibrant.” Phil & Mary spent nine months sailing from Long Island Sound to the Bahamas.

Once back on land, Phil moved with Mary to Fairport, NY, to start a family. Phil worked for several companies in marketing, consulting, and product distribution in the Rochester area. On days off, Phil & Mary enjoyed sailing “Vibrant” at Sodus Bay with sons Eric and Philip, enjoying many summer vacations across Lake Ontario. A loving and supportive father, Phil could always be found at the sidelines of his son’s soccer games and in the front row of their concerts, line judging at their ski races, or heading up Boy Scout meetings or trips.

In retirement, Phil enjoyed skiing, sailing, and traveling with Mary. Together they visited Italy, Sweden, Russia, South America, the Galápagos Islands, Alaska, Montana, California, and Canada, and even made time for a Semester at Sea enrichment voyage. In addition, he created many intricate sculptures and did so for many years side by side with Mary at several local art galleries.

He is survived by his children, Philip Wilkinson Jr. and his wife Theresa of Pittsburgh, PA, and Eric Wilkinson and his wife Emily of Charleston, SC. His four grandchildren, Kiera, Theo, Mary Catherine, and Julia Wilkinson loved him dearly. He is also survived by his sister Suzanne Meldrum of Pawling, NY, as well as many loving nieces and nephews.

A memorial service was held on Friday, October 14th, at 1:00 p.m. at Simons Funeral Home in Pittsburgh, PA.

A second memorial service will be held at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Fairport, NY conducted by Rev. Ken Peppin on October 29th at 4:00 p.m. The family would like to invite guests to attend a reception before the service at 2:00 pm also at St. Luke’s Church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Bridges Hospice, 4130 Monroeville Blvd. Monroeville, PA 15146 or online at

The family would like to thank the many doctors, nurses, caregivers, and Bridges Hospice staff who provided such excellent care and the thoughtfulness and prayers of devoted friends.

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