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Phillip S. Althoff

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Phillip S. Althoff Resident of El Sobrante Born: August 30, 1941 in Nashville, Washington County, Illinois. Died: March 10, 2014, resident of El Sobrante, CA. Raised on a farm in Illinois, Phil received a B.A. with Honors in Social Science from Illinois State University, M.A. and Ph.D. with Distinction in Political Science from the University of Iowa, and J.D. from UCLA. He was a National Defense Education Act Fellow and a Woodrow Wilson Fellow. A man of eclectic talents, Phil earned a two-year farrier school diploma and supplemented his income as a graduate student by shoeing horses, and substituted in the trombone section of the St. Louis Symphony. Phil became a tenured professor of political science at Kansas State University, his publications including books and journal articles. His wit, intellect and ability to communicate with students made him a favorite professor. with an interest in nuclear non-proliferation issues, Phil maintained high level contacts with government officials in the Nixon administration. He taught as a visiting professor at the US Army Command and General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. Phil had a special interest in Latin America, where he traveled extensively, once having a conversation with Fidel Castro. Phil left academia to attend law school at UCLA. After law school, he began his legal career at Memel, Jacobs, Pierno, Gersh & Ellsworth in Los Angeles, but soon moved to McCutcheon, Doyle, Brown and Enersen in Walnut Creek CA. After several years at McCutcheon, Phil joined the Contra Costa County Counsel Office, where he remained until retiring in 2006. A true intellectual, with a phenomenal memory, Phil read a great deal and could offer penetrating insights into virtually any issue in the fields of history, political science, and current affairs. Suffering from parkinson and lewey body dementia, Phil had to give up reading, but still watched his beloved St. Louis Cardinal baseball team until well into his illness. He is survived by his wife Pin Li, an artist and a native of China and resident of El Sobrante, California, his daughter Sarah Althoff, a CPA of Manhattan, Kansas, his son Alric Althoff, a Ph.D. candidate at UC San Diego, his son Sarenson Althoff, an engineering student at the University of Arizona, and his sister Carol Barach, a retired teacher of East Alton, Illinois. A memorial service will be held at Sunset View Cemetery, El Cerrito, CA at 7 pm March 20, 2014.
Published in Contra Costa Times on Mar. 14, 2014
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