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Philip William Orth

Feb 5, 2009

Philip William Orth of Naples, Fla., former long-time resident of Milwaukee, Wis., passed away peacefully on Jan. 23, 2009 at the age of 90 years. Beloved husband for 66 years of Mariette. Loving father (Pops) of Jeffery (Nancy) Orth, Martha (John) Wolf, Jr., and Sarah (Joseph) Peroutka. Proud grandfather of Elizabeth Wolf, Amy (Bennett) Wolf, Leah Peroutka and Julia Peroutka. Further survived by his sister-in-law, Janet Clark, other relatives and many friends.

Phil, a graduate of Milwaukee University School, received a Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, from Amherst College in 1940. He earned his Master of Business Administration degree, with distinction, from the Harvard University Business School in 1942 and completed graduate work at the University of California-Los Angeles. In view of his interest in the Medical College of Wisconsin and support of Cancer Research, the Medical College awarded him an Honorary Doctor of Science degree.

Orth retired as Chairman of the Board of the Ph. Orth Co., Oak Creek, Wis. in 1996 – at which time the 114-year-old family held bakery and institutional foods processor was sold to CSM of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. He had presided, since 1945, over years of outstanding growth for the business.

With widespread experience in the baking industry, Orth was the first non-baker to serve the American Institute of Baking as its Chairman. He also served the American Society of Bakery Engineers as a Vice President, and the National Baker Suppliers Association as President.

He served in both the Carter and Reagan administrations as a member of a Department of Agriculture Special Committee charged with increasing the consumption of wheat food products. He served as a Director of McGlynn Bakeries, Minneapolis, Minn., The Rose Company, Vancouver, Canada and the Cudahy and Oak Creek, Wisconsin Marine Banks, now parts of JP Morgan Chase Bank, Milwaukee.

Phil, with a lifelong love of fishing, was a fly fisherman of renown, fishing extensively in Wausaukee, Wis., the Florida Keys and Montana.

Extremely active in community affairs in Milwaukee, he served as Chairman of the Foundation for Wildlife Conservation and president of the Zoological Society of Milwaukee County. He was directly responsible for bringing Milwaukee’s original gorillas – Samson and Sambo – to the old Washington Park Zoo. Further, he served as Vice President of the Friends of the Museum; Director and member of the Executive Committee of Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital, Milwaukee; President and District Governor-Milwaukee Rotary; Trustee of Alverno College; Trustee of the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design; member of the Milwaukee Harbor Commission; member of the Greater Milwaukee Committee; President of Channels 10/36 Friends; National Director of Trout Unlimited; and patron of the Milwaukee Ballet. He was a member of the Milwaukee Country Club, University Club of Milwaukee, the Vancouver Club, The Anglers Club of New York, The Flyfishers Club of London, England and The Islamorada Fishing Club. Formerly, he was a member of the Milwaukee Athletic Club and the Town Club of Milwaukee.

Funeral services for this “Renaissance Man” were held on Feb. 2 at St. Leo Catholic Church in Bonita Springs. Internment was private. A celebration of his life will be held this summer. Memorials to The Zoological Society of Milwaukee County, the Medical College of Wisconsin or Alverno College would be deeply appreciated in lieu of flowers. The compassionate care of the nurses who cared for Phil Orth during the past three years will always be remembered by the Orth family.