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Philip J., of Corning, NY, 82, retired owner and president of Top Tile of New York and New Jersey, died peacefully on June 20 surrounded by his loving family, after a two-and-a-half year battle with esophageal cancer.
He is survived by his wife of 31 years, Eleanor T. Cicerchi, three children: Dr. Michael (Janis) Cicerchi of Colorado, Renee Cicerchi (Dennis Sullivan) of New Hampshire, and Alison (Michael) Durinzi of Pennsylvania; and two stepchildren: Amy Weskerna (Ranjan) Saha of Australia and Robert (Anna) Weskerna of Florida.
He is also survived by seven grandchildren, five step grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Born in 1930 in Cleveland, OH, to Evelyn Komm Cicerchi and Philip Cicerchi, both of whom predeceased him, he grew up in Lakewood, OH.
As a member of the Class of 1949 at Lakewood High School, he lettered in basketball, playing left guard and starting every varsity game he played.
He attended Baldwin Wallace College on a basketball scholarship, later serving in the U.S. Army at Fort Monmouth, NJ as a field telephone equipment instructor during the Korean War.
He entered the flooring business when he joined Top Tile in Albany, NY, in 1962 as a salesman, later rising to the position of president of the company, which had 26 locations in the East at the time. In 1974 he started his own business, Top Tile, in Dover, NJ.
Over the next 10 years he opened four additional stores in Newton, NJ and Elmira, Endicott, and Binghamton, NY, a warehouse, and expanded the business to include kitchens and bathrooms, also changing the name of the company to Top Tile of NY and NJ. He retired in 2000.
He and his wife were long-time residents of River Vale, NJ. They moved to Corning, her hometown, in 2002.
Known for his remodeling and woodworking skills, he served as chair of the building committee for the Bergen County (NJ) chapter of Habitat for Humanity from 1995 to 2000. He held a pilot's license for more than 60 years and, at the time of his death, was helping his son build a Quest Air Venture high-performance airplane. He also enjoyed traveling to Europe, Asia, and Australia with his wife.
Service information is available at www.phillipsfuneralhome.com.
Published in The Record on June 23, 2013