Ronald W. Philips passed away on Oct. 4, 2018. He was born in Butler, Pennsylvania on May 17, 1929, to Roy and Margaret Philips. He was the second of five children. He received his bachelor’s degree in economics at Bethany College, Bethany, WV. After completing four years of active duty in the U.S. Navy as a jet fighter pilot, he remained active in the Reserves and retired as captain from the USNR in 1977.
In 1957, Mr. Philips started his broadcast career at WBOF radio in Virginia Beach, VA, as sales manager. In 1959, he joined the staff of Landmark Communications as account executive at WTAR-TV, a CBS affiliate in Norfolk, VA. From 1965 to 1979 he held the title of general sales manager. In 1967, he attended the Graduate Business School, University of Virginia and, in 1970, he attended the Harvard Graduate School of Business.
In 1979, Mr. Philips became executive vice president and general manager of WTVR-TV, Richmond, VA, a CBS affiliate owned by Park Broadcasting, where he remained until joining WRLH-TV in 1984. From 1984 until 1986, Mr. Philips was president and general manager of WRLH-TV, Richmond, VA.
In 1986, Mr. Philips moved from Richmond to Syracuse as president and general manager of the NBC affiliate WSTM-TV which had been acquired by SJL of New York Inc. from Times Mirror Corporation. Following the sale of WSTM-TV in 1993, Mr. Philips retired. In 1996, he formed RKM Media Inc. and acquired the license to WNYS-TV, Syracuse.
Mr. Philips served as president of the YMCA, Norfolk, VA, and president of SMA in Norfolk, VA. He also served on the Board of Directors of the New York State Broadcasters Association, the National Kidney Foundation of Central New York, Syracuse Metropolitan Development Association, the MDA Foundation, and the Syracuse Chamber of Commerce. He served on the Vestry of St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral and the Board of Regents of the Century Club.
Ron and his wife, Marylou (Cookie) travelled all over the world and divided their time between two residences, one in Tucson, AZ and the other in Cazenovia. They led a very active social life together, making friends wherever they went and volunteering their time to a number of organizations. They enjoyed membership at the Century Club of Syracuse and the Onondaga Golf and Country Club, as well as the Skyline Country Club and the Mountain Oyster Club of Tucson, AZ. Both shared an enthusiasm for golf, boating, attending musical performances and appreciating Western artwork.
Ron will be greatly missed by his family: his wife, Cookie; his sons, Kevin Phillips (James Lauderdale) of Monterey, CA and Matthew Philips (Laura) and granddaughter, Helen of Alexandria, VA; daughter, Cynthia Rosiek (James), granddaughter Katrina Remes (Justin), and great-grandson, James; and granddaughter, Ashley Ford all of Ames, IA. Ron is also survived by his sister, Evelyn Ewing (Gene) and brother, Homer Philips (Carol); and many nieces and nephews.
Ron was predeceased by his daughter, Robin; and two brothers, Roy E. and Harold C. Philips.
A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 19, at Trinity Episcopal Church, 106 Chapel St., Fayetteville.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105-1942.
For a guest book, please visit schappfamily.com.