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Affectionately known as "Bondo" by his scale modeling friends, died peacefully on November 3, 2012, while in Germany with his wife, Cindy celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary. Phil was born September 30, 1938 in Pittsburgh, PA, the eldest of five children of Richard Simon and Vera Kost Brandt. As a teenager, he built and raced hot rods with his brothers and friends. He was in the first graduating class at North Allegheny High School, where he was the captain of the football team and starting center. He attended Princeton University where he was in the Class of 1960. In 1962, he married Patti Weise; to this union were born three sons. After Patti's death in 1981, Phil was assigned to Bergstrom AFB in Austin, Texas. In 1982, he met and married Cindy Dean, forming a step-family with five teenagers. Phil served his country for 22 years as an Air Force officer, where he was a Weapons Officer in the F-4 Phantom and a Navigator in the C-124, the C-133A, and the F-111A, which flew at three times the speed of sound. Phil loved to go fast! After retirement from the Air Force, he worked at IBM for 11 years. In retirement, he enjoyed tinkering with his Corvairs, Cadillacs, and Oldsmobiles, also, he was a creative plastic modeler and participant in HyperScale, a worldwide community of scale modelers. Some of Phil's models are on display at Austin Bergstrom Airport. Phil loved having his grandchildren for visits, making pancakes for them, and telling them stories. Neighbors remember his driving by in his "Pimpmobile", a '72 Cadillac convertible, waving and honking, always wearing his Steeler's shirt and cap. He made friends wherever he lived and worked, keeping them for life. He remembered people's names better than anyone else. Fifteen minutes before his death, he was laughing and talking with new friends at dinner. Phil would want us to remember him with joy for his rich, full life. He is survived by his wife, Cindy; his sons, Todd and wife, Donna, Christopher, Dana and wife, Carol; stepdaughters, Jennifer and Monica Dean; grandchildren, Anna, Gabriel, Abby and Mandy Brandt and Forest Dean; two brothers, Rich and wife, Cathy, Randy and wife, Pam; sisters, Bonnie, Cherie and her husband, Peter Lejeune; his sister-in-law, Penny; many nieces and nephews; along with a host of old and new friends. A Memorial Service will be conducted at Oak Hill United Methodist Church, 7815 Hwy. 290W in Austin, Texas at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012, with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to The Wounded Warrior Project.
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Published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Nov. 25, 2012
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