Dec. 30, 1925 – Aug. 2, 2016
Stanley F. Phillips, retired vice chairman of Delaware North Cos., whose sunny personality won him many friends across the nation and around the world, died Aug. 2 in Charlotte, N.C. He was 90.
Born in Buffalo to a family of seven children, he left high school at age 16 during World War II to join the Navy. He subsequently graduated from the University of Buffalo in accounting, and became a certified public accountant in 1955. He also was a graduate of the Harvard School of Business advanced management program.
Mr. Phillips had an accounting practice in Buffalo for 15 years, during which time he became a close friend and trusted adviser to Louis M. Jacobs, chief executive officer of Sportservice, the privately owned concessions company based in Buffalo that later became Delaware North, a hospitality industry leader. Mr. Phillips helped develop the gaming division, and after Jacobs died, he was asked by current chairman Jeremy M. Jacobs to join the company full time.
Mr. Phillips continued to guide the growth of gaming operations, and over the years held many other leadership positions. He was appointed head of pari-mutuel operations in 1976 and group president in 1980. Three years later, he became executive vice president, overseeing a number of operating subsidiaries, including pari-mutuels, publishing and metals processing. He was promoted to vice chairman of Delaware North in 1990, and after retiring at age 70, served on the company’s board of directors.
“Stan was a trusted adviser and dear friend to three generations of my family,” Jeremy Jacobs said. “He played an instrumental role in our evolution and helped develop the next generation of company leaders. He’s greatly missed.”
Mr. Phillips also was treasured by his wide circle of friends – including former Buffalo Bills coach Chuck Knox, baseball great Stan Musial, comedian Marty Allen and jazz legend Al Hirt – for his joyous laughter and love of song. Social evenings at his Snyder home or Long Beach, Ont., summer residenc invariably ended with him leading choruses of old standards such as “Bye Bye Blackbird.”
His professional and philanthropic affiliations included the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, American Horse Council, Harness Tracks of America, Thoroughbred Racing Association and United Cerebral Palsy Association of Western New York.
Mr. Phillips, who retired to Naples, Fla., before moving to Charlotte in recent years to be near his son, Tom, is survived by his wife of 64 years, the former Patricia Deck; two other sons, James and Paul; three brothers, Frank, Victor and Tom Filipski; and five grandchildren.
A memorial Mass will be offered at 11 a.m. Aug. 20 in Christ the King Catholic Church, Snyder.