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Philip F. Heller


1945 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Philip F. Heller Obituary
Philip Franklin Heller of Stockbridge, MA died on Wednesday, May 30, 2018 after a long and courageous battle with cancer. He was the beloved husband of Anita Heller, devoted father to Elizabeth Pyle, loving father-in-law to Jeffrey Pyle, proud grandfather to Lucy and Emily Pyle and dear brother to Frederic Heller.

He was born April 15, 1945 in New York City. Philip received his bachelor's degree from Adelphi University, did graduate studies in Urban Affairs at American University and received a Juris Doctor degree from Suffolk University Law School. Philip began his legal career in the Berkshires. For 6 years he was a Public Defender for the Massachusetts' Defenders Committee.

He then was appointed as a Special Prosecutor for the Berkshire County District Attorney's office, a position he held for 8 years. He began his private practice in Lenox, MA in 1976. In 1984, he formed a partnership with Frederic D. Rutberg. Then in 1986 Lori A. Robbins joined the firm. He continued to practice until the time of his death. He was well respected for his expertise in zoning law, encouraging local development while maintaining the beautiful character of the Berkshire area.

Philip was known for his generosity in providing pro bono legal work for many local non-profits, among them Shakespeare and Company and The Berkshire Theater Festival. He served on the board of Edward J. Madden Open Hearts Camp for 40 years. He also created a trust for The Lillian Heller Curator's Award at Chesterwood Museum in honor of his mother. Philip was a member of Temple Anshe Amunim where he blew the shofar for over 20 years.

Philip served in the New York State National Guard and the Massachusetts Army Reserve from 1969 through 1975. Philip was an avid reader of historic books. Although he loved history in general, his greatest interest was in World War II.

Philip had a passion for antique cars and was often seen tooling around Stockbridge in his prize winning 1967 Austin Healy convertible. He loved playing the trumpet. In the winter he loved to ski and in the summer he loved to golf. He was a long time member of the Stockbridge Golf Club.

Philip had a keen wit and was famous for his humorous axioms which were not only hilarious, but true. We will miss his smile, love, friendship, generosity and wisdom.

Funeral services will be held at Temple Anshe Amunim in Pittsfield MA on Sunday, June 3rd at 10:30 am.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial donations be made to either Shakespeare & Co., the Berkshire Theatre Festival or the Edward J. Madden Open Hearts Camp.
Published in The Berkshire Eagle from May 31 to June 1, 2018
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