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Philip Lally

Philip M. Lally

Phil Lally passed away on April 28, 2013 at his home in Palo Alto after a courageous battle with cancer. He was 87 years old. Born in New York City on Sept 30, 1925, he was the only child of John and Mary Lally. Early on he showed a strong affinity for study and learning, winning a city-wide academic contest for appointment to Xavier Prep. Phil then attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he began a life-long pursuit of the solution to engineering problems.


After an interruption to his studies due to World War II, he returned to Cambridge to complete his studies and marry his life-long wife, Mary Ann Evans of Scituate, Massachusetts. He completed his BS in 1948 and went on to obtain his Masters at MIT. By this time his family was growing, eventually reaching 3 young boys, so he embarked on his career in Electrical Engineering. His first work was with Sperry Rand Corporation in Great Neck, New York; later moving with Sperry to Gainesville, Florida. He continued his connection with education, occasionally teaching courses at the University of Florida at their request.


In 1968 Phil and his family moved west to Palo Alto and took a position with Teledyne MEC, where he worked as a Senior Scientist until very shortly before his death.


Phil was an excellent engineer, respected and admired by his peers and the younger engineers he mentored. He authored or collaborated on a number of patents in his field of electronic warfare and countermeasures and was an active member of the Association of Old Crows, who honored him in Sept. 2012 by electing him to their Hall of Fame


In addition to working late into his 80's, Phil would also take time to tutor in Algebra at a local school, participate actively in his church, and travel to sometimes exotic locations, such as the great telescopes of the Andes and Easter Island.


Phil was preceded in death by wife Mary Ann (2005) and son James (2009). He is survived by sons Jeff and Steve, and grandson Evan.


A memorial service will be held on 3:00 p.m. August 24 at St. Mark's Episcopal Church located at 600 Colorado Ave, Palo Alto with a reception to follow.


Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Aug. 18, 2013
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