In memory of
GELB--Phyllis. Died peacefully at age 86 after a sudden illness on February 12th at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles surrounded by family. Born April 15, 1930 in Westboro, MA, she was a daughter of Lucy and Noah Nason (Gates). She was married for 53 years to Richard L. Gelb, longtime CEO of Bristol-Myers Squibb and New York Times Director, who passed away in 2004. Phyllis, known as "Rusty" to her friends, attended the Walnut Hill School and Wellesley College. Along with her best friend and high school roommate, Lueza Thirkield Gelb, Rusty lovingly tended to the care and oversight of their tribe of children at the family's summer place in Stamford, CT and their Manhattan apartment building, where the two families lived. She loved elephants and her West Highland White Terrier, Mac, and volunteered at the American Museum of Natural History, the New York City Department of Education, the New York Public Library and St. Bernards School (board) prior to moving to California to be closer to her two sons after the passing of her husband. Survivors include her children, Larry (Anki), Lucy (Frank Sisto), Jane and Jim (Jenny); grandchildren, Matt, Emily, Andy, Richie, James and Sophie; great-grandson, Remington; nieces and nephews, John, Jody, Richard and Connie, Noah, Kathy and Stephen. She was predeceased by brothers, Joseph and Donald Nason. A memorial service will be held later this spring in Greenwich, CT. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Phyllis's memory to Save the Elephants ( savetheelephants.org ).
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