Dr. Philip Sayre Kift Sr.
Dr. Philip Sayre Kift Sr., 92, of Williamsport, passed away on Thursday, May 19, at Manor Care South, Williamsport.
Phil was born February 28, 1924 in Muncy, a son of the late Craig Morrell and Vida (Sayre) Kift. On May 26, 1949, he married the former Betty Jean Taylor, who survives. Together they celebrated nearly 67 years of marriage.
Phil was a 1942 graduate of Muncy High School. He started advanced education at Lock Haven University then soon enlisted in the Army Air Force with training at Coe College in Iowa. He served honorably as a corporal in the Pacific Theatre as part of “The Greatest Generation.” Those war experiences likely helped engender a life-long patriotism and love of country. Our national flag was always proudly displayed.
After the war, Phil returned to Williamsport and attended Lycoming College (then Williamsport-Dickenson College) for two years followed by 2 semesters at Penn State. Then with prerequisites met, he applied for and was accepted to The University of Pittsburgh Dental School, starting in the Fall of 1949.
Upon graduation from Pitt, Phil opened his dental office on Broad Street in Montoursville in the Fall of 1953 later moving across the street to a larger office as his practice grew. Phil loved his work and he loved his patients. In his later years long after retirement, he would vividly relive those pleasant memories when he was “Doc Kift.”
Having wrestled for his Muncy H.S. Indians, Phil also became a lifelong wrestling fan. He and Betty frequently attended meets at Penn State; when health did not permit, he watched college wrestling on TV.
The pride and joy of his life was family with whom he spent many wonderful times enjoying picnics, fishing and making homemade ice cream at the cabin along the Loyalsock Creek, a place he loved. He also had a 1936 Ford that he loved to drive with the top down in 4th of July parades with grandkids along to enjoy the occasion.
Phil served on the Montoursville Area School Board and was also a member of the Lions Club and Bethany Lutheran Church.
Surviving in addition to his wife are a son, Philip S. Kift Jr. (Bonnie) Ligonier, PA; four daughters: Dr. Sharon K. Hayes (Dr.John) Williamsport, PA; Joan K. Sloyer (John) Julian, PA; Debra K. Taylor (Tom) Williamsport, PA; Donna K. Schuman (Mark) Doylestown , PA. Phil was the proud grandfather of seven grandchildren: Lindsay and Benjamin Kift; Michael Hayes; Thomas and Patricia Taylor; Morgan and Lauren Schuman.
Phil was predeceased by his brother Dr. Craig Mackey Kift.
Friends were received from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday, May 24 at Grenoble’s, 121 S. Main St., Muncy, where the funeral was held at 1 p.m. with Pastor David Letscher, of Bethany Lutheran Church, Montoursville, officiating.
The family provided the flowers and suggests contributions in Phil’s name be made to Friends of the National World War II Memorial, 921 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE?Suite 316, Washington, DC 20003 (online at htttps://donatenow.networkforgood.org/1413021 or the Montoursville Booster Club (Wrestling), c/o Montoursville Area High School, 100 North Arch Street,
Montoursville, PA 17754.
Special thanks to the many compassionate caregivers for their kindness and expertise.
Expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.grenoblefuneralhome.com