Obituary of Phillip W. Alley, PhD
Phillip Wayne Alley, Professor Emeritus of Physics, SUNY Geneseo, passed away peacefully on November 27, 2023, at age 91 surrounded by family. He was born in Northbrook, Illinois to Harold R. Alley, a paper pulp engineer and Corinne (Griesbaum) Alley, an artist. After high school he studied Physics, completing a bachelor's degree from Lawrence College in Appleton, Wisconsin, and PhD from Rutgers in New Jersey. During the PhD program he met Marie (Keegan) Alley, and they married shortly after graduation. His first teaching job was at Franklin and Marshall College. In 1964, he moved to SUNY Geneseo where he finished his academic career, before retiring to Hamilton, NY and then Warminster, PA. For about 15 years during his Geneseo teaching career, Phil worked summers for NASA at Goddard Space Flight Center. He loved the opportunity to be productive for the space program.
Phil was passionate about service both academic and community. At SUNY Geneseo, he actively participated in numerous departmental and university committees. In his honor, SUNY Geneseo created the Phillip W. Alley Service Award for students committed to serving their community. He actively participated in the American Association of Physics Teachers as well as the American Physical Society. Regardless of where he lived he joined local service organizations, generally becoming an officer. He served on the School Board for Geneseo Central as was Chairman of the Board when his eldest daughter graduated. He was active in Kiwanis and Rotary organizations in both Geneseo and Hamilton, NY, becoming president of each. Even in his 80's he was secretary of the retirement community Apple Club and an officer of the Bocce Club. Service has always been at the heart of who Phil Alley is.
Phil always enjoyed doing things with others. In his early years he played active sports such as touch football, skiing, and baseball. As he aged, he switched to golf, curling, and bocce ball. Poker with his friends was always a favorite sport. He and Marie also loved to travel. They went to Japan twice and in retirement took many cruises and trips, especially to Europe. Family visits were also important. For many years, Marie and Phil rented a place for the summer in Seaside Park, NJ so the kids and grandchildren could visit. Doing things with others was life-giving for Phil.
Phil was preceded in death by his wife, Marie K. Alley in 2018, and is survived by his four children, Anne (Carl) Sergeant of Grand Rapids, MI, Daniel (Julie) Alley of Detroit Lakes, MN, Joan (Jeff) Smith of Prospect, KY, and John (Mary) Alley of Jordan, NY, 16 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren. Marie and Phil were very proud of their children and grandchildren.