Philip Armand Mendel
We have lost a beloved man. A husband, a father, a brother, a grandfather, a mentor, a teacher, and a friend.
Philip A. Mendel died on Thursday April 19th at Agrace Hospice Care after a brief illness. A native of Shorewood (Milw.), Phil graduated from Shorewood High School at the age of 17 and following Pearl Harbor, volunteered for the Army infantry.
He was a decorated combat infantry Sgt. serving with the 45th (Thunderbird) U.S. Infantry Div. for 30 months in Africa, Sicily, Italy (Salern o-Anzio), France and
Germany. His division was one of the first to liberate the infamous concentration camp at Dachau, outside of Munich. Following VE Day, he served in the Army of Occupation in Austria prior to discharge in Sept. of 1945.
He graduated with Honors from the University of Wisconsin School of Pharmacy in 1949 and was licensed in both Wisconsin and Illinois. He began his practice in Illinois, where he met and married his wife of 61 years, Doris M. Redford.
The Mendels returned to Madison in 1962 where Phil spent 13 years with The Prescription Pharmacy, Inc. before accepting an appointment with the UW School of Pharmacy. He was honored as a Distinguished Alumnus in 1995 by the UW School of Pharmacy Alumni Association and was President of the Association from 1983-84. He then returned to part-time pharmacy practice, and at the time of his death was employed by Restore Health, Inc.
While his profession was pharmacy, his avocation was hockey. A founding member of The Blue Line Club of Madison in 1963, he became its second president; at his death he was the oldest ex-president.
Phil was closely allied with the UW Hockey program for nearly 20 years as the Public Address Announcer, starting in 1963 at Hartmeyer Ice Arena and continuing at the Dane County Memorial Coliseum. He opened each game with his famous “Good Evening Hockey Fans!”
On road games Phil teamed with the Badgers’ original play-by-play announcer Bob Miller (now an NHL Hall of Fame Broadcaster with the L.A. Kings). Following Miller’s departure, Phil joined Paul Braun for six years with both WIBA and WKOW.
He departed the hockey scene in 1980, returning to the Coliseum microphone but once, at Bob Johnson’s request, to introduce the four graduating seniors including Johnson’s son, Peter. He was the pre-game Master of Ceremonies at the initial UW hockey game at the Kohl Center on Oct. 3, 1998.
He was given the Blue Line Club award in 1971. A long time admirer of Prof. Michael Leckrone and the UW Varsity Band, Phil was named the first Honorary Member of the UW Band in their then 99 year history. He was inducted into the Madison Ice Skating Hall of Fame as well as the UW Hockey Hall of Fame. Phil eulogized his friend Bob Johnson at his Memorial Service at Bethel Lutheran Church in December of 1991.
Phil was preceded in death by his parents, his two sisters, one granddaughter, and his son-in-law, Jeffery A. Geisler. He is survived by his wife Doris, daughters Pamela, Barbara (Dave), Jill (Patrick), Philip (Stephanie), and six grandchildren Lindsay (Matt), Corrin, Lucas, Jacob, and Gage Armand and Vivian Heather, who are four month old twins.
At Phil’s request there will be no visitation or funeral service. His remains will be entombed in the family crypt at the foot of the cross in Sunset Memory Gardens. If desired, memorials may be made to the Dane County Humane Society, Agrace Hospice Care, or a charity of your choice.
‘Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil, for Thou art with me.’