Phyllis Semple, 87
She was an accomplished musician, a civic leader, and matriarch of one of the nation’s leading golf families. She took up golf after marrying her husband, Harton Singer Semple, who became president of the U.S. Golf Association. An outstanding athlete with a competitive nature, she served as captain of the Women’s U.S. Amateur golf team and won six western Pennsylvania Championships, two Pennsylvania State Senior Championships, and one U.S. Senior Championship. She inspired her daughter, Carole Semple Thompson, to become one of the nation’s greatest female amateur golfers. The longtime Sewickley Heights resident was a Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra board member and founding member of the Symphony Association and the Sewickley Valley Historical Society.
Sydney Simon, 80
Starting work at 16 in a deli to support his family, Simon went on with his brother, Moe, to create and build a Pittsburgh institution, The Original Hot Dog Shop. In the heart of Oakland, the “O” started in 1960, with a cigar box as a cash register, and became Pittsburgh’s best-known restaurant, serving its signature hot dogs and fries to a mix of doctors, patients, professors, students, homeless people and everyone in between — all eating shoulder-to-shoulder at the front counter. Simon defied melanoma cancer for 25 years and, though he had become legally blind, developed several patents, ranging from engine safety to help for visually-impaired people.
Arthur Burns Jr., 86
He was the founder and owner of Homewood’s Southern Platter restaurant, a Pittsburgh fixture for soul food and longtime neighborhood icon. After serving in the U.S. Army during World War II, Burns earned a business degree from the University of Pittsburgh. He started the Southern Platter in 1970.
Mary Phillips, 88
In 1944, the lifelong Butler County resident married Donald Phillips, scion of the Butler oil and gas family. She became one of the county’s principal philanthropists, founding the Maridon Museum in 2004. The museum, which takes its name from the combination of “Mary” and “Don,” focuses on Japanese and Chinese art and culture.