Philip Edmund Ebert of Kennett Square, PA, passed away at Chester County Hospital on Thursday, November 19 at the age of 91. Formerly of Chadds Ford, PA and Wilmington, DE, he had been a resident of Kendal at Longwood Retirement Community for almost three years.
Phil was born in 1929 in Milwaukee, WI, son of Lutheran Pastor Edmund Philip Ebert and Elsie A. Ebert. He graduated from East Troy High School in 1947 and spent the next two years at Valparaiso University in Indiana before transferring to Purdue University to obtain a BS in Chemical Engineering in 1951. He was briefly employed at Hercules Powder Company in Wilmington, DE, before being drafted into the Marine Corps. While serving in Japan, he was promoted to First Lieutenant before being honorably discharged in 1954. Taking leave from his prior employment at Hercules, he enrolled in Graduate School at the University of PA and obtained his PhD in Organic Polymer Chemistry in 1960.
Phil then began his career with E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co. in Wilmington in Textile Fibers as a Technical Marketing Associate. Dealing with carpets, apparel and fiber and fabric development, he became a global technical authority for Cordura® nylon in apparel, leisure, industrial and upholstery applications. Following retirement in 1996, he worked as an independent consultant and was appointed as a member of the Natick Army National Research Council.
Since Phil had a lifelong interest in music, he joined the chorus of The Brandywiners in 1955 while at U of PA, and was partnered with Nancy Peterson by Chick Laird, Brother-in-Law of Pierre S. duPont, and Director for the production of “The Red Mill.” That partnership led to a sixty-three year partnership in marriage. Both Phil and Nancy remained active in musical groups throughout their marriage. They enjoyed traveling and visited many places including China, Japan, Scandinavia, Germany and Hawaii. His interest in nature and especially in birds led him to work with a good friend at Longwood Gardens in preserving and enlarging the Bluebird population.
Phil had a deep Christian faith and was a member of Concordia Lutheran Church in Wilmington for over sixty years. He served in several roles, ranging from President of the congregation to Sunday school teacher to Choir member. He and Nancy spent several years as readers of Bible stories to Concordia’s Pre-School children. Phil also led a Bible class at Sojourner’s Place for the homeless in Wilmington.
Phil is predeceased by his parents as well as an infant son, Jeffrey Philip Ebert. He is survived by his wife, Nancy Peterson Ebert, and by his daughter, Karen E. Roosa (James), his son, Douglas E. Ebert (Julie), his sister, Naomi E. Frensz (Phillip), his nieces, Kathryn Frensz Macauley and Elizabeth Frensz Swenson and his three grandchildren, Kate Elizabeth Roosa Habegger (Michael), Andrew James Roosa and Lydia Katherine Ebert. Always a gentle, kind and loving person, Phil will be dearly missed by his family and many friends.