Obituary of K. Philip Dresdner
~~K. Philip Dresdner (Phil) died Saturday October 7, 2017. Phil was born April 13, 1927 in Trenton, New Jersey where he attended public schools until attending The Lawrenceville School where he graduated in the class of 1945. Phil served in the U.S. Merchant Marines, USNR, for a year and then received a B.A. from Yale in 1950. He married Katherine V. Winans (Kay) in June 1950. Phil was recruited while at Yale to join CIA and assigned to an executive position in Radio Free Europe’s Munich Station in Germany. After leaving Munich Station, Phil continued to work for the CIA in New York at Radio Free Europe and then worked in a number of brokerage firms on Wall Street before opening his own company, Dresdner and Co. in Montclair, NJ in 1971. While living in Montclair he served as Trustee, Treasurer and President of the Montclair Art Museum, as President of the Yale Club of Montclair, and began serving in 1975 as a Trustee of the Lawrenceville School.
Phil and Kay moved to Lawrence Township in 1980. His love for and devotion to The Lawrenceville School is reflected in his 20 years of active service on the Board and continued participation as a Trustee Emeritus. He served as Board Vice President, as Executive Committee Chairman and Treasurer of Finance, managing the School’s endowment and saving the school millions of dollars in management fees. He also served as Chair of the Property Committee and received Lawrenceville School’s Distinguished Alumnus Award. Phil had a major impact on the life of the school by actively supporting the Lawrenceville School Board’s move from an all-male school to coeducation which was finally approved in 1985. He supported gender equality in athletics with the creation in 1988 of the Dresdner Cup given annually in recognition of the highest athletic achievement of a girl’s Crescent House to correspond to the Foresman Cup awarded annually to a boy’s Circle House for highest athletic achievement at the school. Phil was also instrumental in hiring the school’s first female Headmaster in 2003.
Phil had a lifelong love of music. As a child he studied the violin with Josef Chudnofsky, first chair violinist of the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra and played the violin in the Lawrenceville School orchestra and music groups at Yale. He supported the Lawrenceville School Music Department, donated his Heberlein violin to the school for students to play, and funded the building of Dresdner Hall, a new recital hall in the Clark Music Center.
Phil also served on the Board of the Princeton University Art Museum and was President and Treasurer of the Morven Museum Board. In 1990 Phil singlehandedly saved the Morven property from becoming a New Jersey State Police Barracks.
Phil served on many Boards including the Montclair Savings Bank, the Montclair Mountainside Hospital, the Montclair YMCA, First Jersey National Bank and Trust, NJ Seeds, and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.
Phil was a member and Chairman of District Committee No. 9 of the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD), and a Trustee of the Albert Penick Foundation, where he grew an initial investment of $300,000 to more than 5 million over time, making gifts annually over 40 years.
Fishing was another lifelong passion. Phil began fishing as a 4 year old child on Marshall’s Creek and on the Delaware River in Shawnee, Pennsylvania. He later learned to fly fish and spent 30 years devoting himself to the art of fly casting, travelling to fish in Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Alaska, Canada, Iceland, Maine and the Bahamas. He travelled for many years to Patagonia fishing the Alumine, Malleo, and Corcovado Rivers and also to fish the Traful, Caleufu, Collon Cura and the Chimehuin Rivers south of Buenos Aires. In July 1995 Phil had a spectacular record day fishing on the Restigouche river in New Brunswick, Canada where he caught and released a 48 - pound salmon and then a 60- pound salmon. Catching these two salmon were an “incredible angling feat” as reported in the Bangor Daily News on July 15,1995.
Phil survived by his four children, Katherine V. Dresdner of Hopewell, NJ; Karl P. Dresdner of Newtown, PA; Robert P. Dresdner of Vienna, VA; and William W. Dresdner of Monticello, VA; and also survived by his four grandchildren, Kate, Teddy, Maura, and Brendan. He is predeceased by his wife Katherine Winans Dresdner, his parents, Karl George Dresdner and Miriam Virginia Neumann, and his sister Hedl D. Roulette.
The Burial will be at the Lawrenceville Cemetery on Rte 206 near Carter Rd., Lawrence, NJ at 10 am on Saturday, October 14 to which Phil’s friends are welcome, followed by a Memorial Service at 11:00 am at The Edith Memorial Chapel at The Lawrenceville School. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to SAVE-A Friend to Homeless Animals, 1010 Route 601, Skillman, NJ 08558. Arrangements are through the Mather Hodge Funeral Home, Princeton, NJ.
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