Philip Marcus
1929 - 2020
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Marcus, Philip A. Age 91, of River Forest, Illinois, died on March 15, 2020. Phil was born on March 11, 1929, in Chicago to Henry and Anne (Gross) Marcus. He was a graduate of Oak Park River Forest High School and the University of Illinois College of Engineering. During the Korean War, he served in the U. S. Navy, stationed at the ship repair facility in Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan. There Lieutenant JG Marcus further developed expertise as a mechanical engineer, and also as a tournament-winning bridge player. After returning from service, with the guidance of their father, he and his brother Charles started Utility Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc., a successful mechanical contracting firm that installed and maintained industrial and commercial piping and HVAC systems. As a result of his work, he spent many hours driving throughout the Chicago area, enjoying every minute behind the wheel of his then-current sleek sports car. Phil was an accomplished model railroader with a deep knowledge of rail history. Every locomotive and car ran far better and was more faithful to the prototype once he had disassembled, fine-tuned, and rebuilt it. In 1961, he and Leah Nathanson married, after he courted her in his sports car. Together they enjoyed theater, Chicago's comedy clubs (like Gate of Horn), dining (especially Ristorante Agostino), and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. They raised a close and loving family: Jonathan (Lorraine Applebey), Jessica, and Sarah (Jeff Fraum); grandchildren Jacob and Benjamin Marcus, Matt Maenpaa (Zoe Streicker-Howard), and Sara, Zachary, and Dianarose Fraum; and great-grandchild, Freya Rowan Maenpaa. Phil is survived, by his wife, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchild, by his brothers Charles Marcus (Maureen Vollen) and Richard Marcus (Judy Augustus), and by many nieces and nephews, and their families. A private graveside funeral service was held at Jewish Oakridge Cemetery, 4301 West Roosevelt Rd., Hillside, IL. In lieu of flowers, contributions to the Center for Railroad Photography and Art or the American Civil Liberties Union would be appreciated.

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Published in Chicago Sun-Times on Mar. 17, 2020.
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March 20, 2020
He was my hero in the world of model railroading.
Paul Balter
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