It is with a great deal of sadness that I inform the campus community of the death of Philip C. Tavelli '70, former employee of the Offices of Institutional Advancement and Admission, and a devoted supporter of Ithaca College.
Phil passed away Tuesday morning after a 17-month fight with pancreatic cancer.
I know that the entire College community joins with me in extending our deepest condolences to Phil's wife, Holly, an employee in the Office of Admission, daughter Sarah, and son Jason '02. His obituary, as published in today's Ithaca Journal, follows.
Phil was predeceased by his father, Rudolph Tavelli, in 1996 and his mother, Florence Barton Tavelli, in 1989. He is survived by his wife of 30 years, Hollands (Holly) Ranger Tavelli; son, Jason Ranger Tavelli, Philadelphia PA; and daughter, Sarah Hollands Tavelli, Ithaca; one brother, Paul N. Tavelli (Connie); nephew, Matthew Tavelli; niece, Tara Tavelli (Stefan Brownell); and great-nephew, Jake Tavelli Brownell, Ithaca; one sister, Nancy Tavelli (Keith Farrington); and two nieces, Jane and Katharine Farrington, Walla Walla, WA. Phil also leaves behind many close friends and colleagues, for whose friendship and support, particularly at the end of his life, he was enormously grateful.
Phil grew up in Ithaca, graduating from Ithaca High School in 1961. He attended Cornell University before entering the armed forces in 1963, serving in the US Army military police in Alexandria VA for two years. Phil then worked locally at Morse Chain and at NYSEG before entering Ithaca College in 1966. Upon graduation in 1970 with a BS in Business Administration, Phil began his 39 year association with Ithaca College. He continued professionally with positions in admission and development, until his retirement in 2001 after which he remained a loyal and active alumnus advancing the interests of the College. In 2004, Phil's special devotion to the crew program was recognized by the naming of the shell, Phil Tavelli '70, which won the women's NCAA Division III national championship in 2004 and 2005. Phil wore his championship ring with great pride. In 2005, Phil received a special citation for lifetime service from the Ithaca Alumni Association.
Phil devoted his life to family, Ithaca College, and the Ithaca community. He shared his love of Ithaca by giving tours of the area to visitors as well as serving on many volunteer boards, most recently the History Center, First Congregational Church, Pleasant Grove Cemetery, and as a trustee of the Village of Cayuga Heights. Phil enjoyed his home, gardening, hiking, antiquing, and touring historical sites especially in the Finger Lakes.
A remembrance gathering will take place at the First Congregational Church on Saturday, June 11, at 11:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, friends are asked to consider a memorial gift to Ithaca College for the new athletics and events center, Alumni Hall, 953 Danby Road, Ithaca, NY 14850, or the First Congregational Church, 309 Highland Road, Ithaca, NY, or the Sidney Kimmell Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins Medical Institute, Suite 1100, 401 North Broadway, Baltimore, MD 21231, or Hospicare and Palliative Care Services of Tompkins County, Inc., 172 E. King Rd., Ithaca, NY 14850. Arrangements were entrusted to the Perkins Funeral Home.