Dake, Phyllis

Section: Obituaries,  Page: D10

Date: Thursday, May 31, 2012

SARATOGA SPRINGS Phyllis Edmunds Dake died peacefully at her home on Wednesday, May 30, 2012. She had long suffered from the complications of Huntington's Disease. Philly was born in Ft. Fairfield, Maine on September 6, 1926, one of five children. She attended Dana Hall School (1944) in Mass. and Cornell University (1948) in Ithaca, N.Y. Philly married Cornellian Charles S. Dake in 1948 and moved to Saratoga Springs to raise their family and join his family business. She is predeceased by Charles S. (Charlie) Dake and Charles E. Dake (Chaz). Philly leaves behind Heidi Dake Keogh (Randy), Brad Dake (Darla Oathout), Perrin Dake (Estelle) and Pernille Dake (Chaz); and grandchildren, Tyler Keogh (Krista), Kelly Keogh Kane (Daniel), and Graham, Tanya, Veronica and Juliette Dake. There are three great-grandchildren, Madison and Reed Keogh and D.J. Kane. She is also survived by sister, Pat Howard of Conn., Bill Dake (Susan) of Saratoga Springs, Alice Deering (Bob) of Calif., and Ralph L. Carter of Calif., who made his home with our family for many years. Mrs. Dake was executive vice-president of what is now Stewart's Shops Corp. in Saratoga Springs. She was the creator of the "Make Your Own Sundae" and in 1999, 50 years later, she founded the "Make Your Own Scholarship" program to help the children of Stewart's employees seek higher education and to date has funded $2 million to 211 students. Philly enjoyed her garden. She created an intriguing park-like walkway around her quarry property a tree stump shaped like a bird of paradise a natural waterfall special rock formations and probably a hundred different flowers, trees and bushes that make it a special place to ponder. Mrs. Dake traveled extensively and loved to photograph. She painstakingly catalogued her journeys in photo albums as well as, her children's journeys and Stewarts' journey as a successful business. Philly is also known for her camel collection that she inherited from her in-laws over 60 years ago and that has grown through her travels and gifts and appropriately calls her home "Camelot." Mrs. Dake also leaves a legacy to the Saratoga community with The Philly and Charlie Dake Foundation, founded in 2002, an organization that primarily benefits the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga County YMCA, Skidmore College, Saratoga Hospital, Saratoga Foundation, and many local charities. She also created a second charitable foundation with a third of her estate so her generosity will benefit the community for years to come. She was a proud supporter of Pi Beta Phi and Cornell University. Philly was a long time member of Saratoga Golf and Polo Club, as well as Bethesda Episcopal Church. Her passion was the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. She and Charlie co-hosted the first party (1962) to interest people in the feasibility of building a performing arts center among the stately buildings and natural setting of the Saratoga Spa Park. That is now a magnificent complex. Philly has volunteered in development with the SPAC Action Council since 1967, as well as serving on the board of directors from 1980-2005. Mrs. Dake was honored in 2011 with a marble "STAR" (third of five) in the theater walkway, for her nearly 50 years of commitment to SPAC. Philly Dake's community service includes 50 years of service to Stewart's Shops Corp., Soroptomists International 1990 Woman of Distinction, Saratoga Good Scout Award from Twin Rivers Boy Scout Council 1998, Rotary of Saratoga Springs Foundation-Philanthropist Extraordinaire in 2001, Saratoga Foundation Board of Directors 1996-2012, Saratoga Hospital 1953-2012 founding member of Flower and Fruit Mission, Board of Managers 1979-87, Saratoga Hospital Foundation Board 1984-87, Skidmore College Advanced Gift drives 1972-79 and benefit luncheons through the Saratoga Polo Club 1982-95, WMHT Board of Trustees 1980 -86, 1988-93, Albany Medical College Board of Trustees 1984-1988, Albany Medical Center Board of Trustees 1984-92, University Foundation at Albany Board of Trustees 1984-92, Distinguished Citizen Award for outstanding service to the community and state 1988, Saratoga YMCA Board of Directors, nine years, Siena College Advisory Board 1984 and 1993 Board of Associate trustees, Lake George Opera Festival 1979-87 Board of Directors, Proctors Board of Directors 1980-83, Doane Stuart School 1980-83 Board of Trustees, and the Girl Scout Council 1956-60. A memorial service will be held at Bethesda Episcopal Church in Saratoga Springs on Friday, June 8, 2012 at 3 p.m. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to one of the many charities Philly supported including: SPAC, Skidmore College, the Girl Scouts, Siena College, Cornell University, Albany Medical Center, WMHT, Saratoga YMCA and Saratoga Hospital. Arrangements are under the direction of the William J. Burke & Sons/Bussing & Cunniff Funeral Homes of 628 North Broadway, Saratoga Springs. Online remembrances may be made at www.burkefuneralhome.com.