(Asbury Park Press)
Phillip J. Petillo, Ph.D., 64, of Ocean Township, passed away Saturday, Aug. 14, 2010, at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Neptune. He was born Sept. 4, 1945 in Jersey City and lived the majority of his life at the Shore. He was a Master Luthier, engineer, inventor, electronics consultant, draftsman, scientist, musician and a true Renaissance Man. Phil started repairing musical instruments at the age of 14, his interest blossomed into a lifelong passion for making, designing and constructing guitars of superior quality. Phillip graduated from Colombia University with a degree in Industrial Engineering and a Doctorate in Engineering Technology from La Salle. Phil made guitars with Jimmy DiSerio, godson of John D'Angelico in his Manhattan workshop. He also studied with Phillippe Rimmler, a world renowned marquetrarian. In the mid-70's, Phil designed and built the first four Prototypes of the Kramer Guitar presented at the Chicago Namm show in 1976, which introduced the aluminum neck. Phil is also well-known in the music world for his association with artist such as Bruce Springsteen, Tal Farlow, Chuck Wayne, and Jim Croce. Phil has also pioneered and refined medical and surgical devices that have saved many lives. He has done restoration work for the Smithsonian museum, restored several Stradivarius violins and made instruments in the Chinery Collection. He also received three patents for his original work with the Hydrogen Generator and Fuel Cell technology. Phil was featured in the Who's Who of Manhattan American Inventors and was given the New Jersey Pride Award from Governor Florio. Dr. Petillo has accumulated a mass of 30 patents in the medical, musical, and alternative energy fields.
Phil was a deeply religious family man who was the father of five sons, a devoted husband of 39 wonderful years. Phillip loved his family and shared with them his God-given gifts and a love of the Lord and the Bible. He has great gifts of compassion, tolerance and patience in all that he did. He is survived by his devoted wife, Lucille (Kersmarki) Petillo; five sons, Phillip Jr., 37 and daughter-in-law, Michelle and granddaughter, Emily, Stephen, 34, Michael, 31, David, 30, and Timothy, 27.
As the Bible says: "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the Faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a Crown of Righteousness, which the Lord, the Righteous Judge, shall give me at that day..." Timothy 4:7-8.
Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 17, with a service at 7:30 p.m. at Francioni, Taylor and Lopez Funeral Home, Neptune. Internment will be 10 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 18 at Mt. Calvary Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, send donations to St. Mary's Church, Deal.
Published in Asbury Park Press from Aug. 16 to Aug. 17, 2010