Phillip Raneri

Mass Of Christian Burial

11:00 am - 11:45 am
Tuesday, October 17, 2023
St. Mary of the Assumption RC Church
55 Valley Road
Katonah, New York, United States


12:00 pm
Tuesday, October 17, 2023
St. Francis Cemetery
236 Lexington Ave
Mt. Kisco, New York, United States

Memorial Donations

In Lieu of Flowers, Contributions to RVNA Health Hospice Ridgefield, CT --OR -- Tunnel to Towers

Obituary of Phillip J. Raneri

Phillip John Raneri, “Phil”, 98 years old, formerly of Nantucket, MA and Katonah, NY, died Wednesday, October 4th, 2023, at his residence in Danbury, CT.

Phil was the devoted and loving husband to Claire Raneri, who recently passed away on March 18, 2023. He was born on April 7th, 1925, in Pleasantville, NY to Isabelle and Charles Raneri and had two siblings, Mildred Rogers and Regina Scimone to whom he remained close to over the years.

Phil’s parents, Isabelle and Charles, founded Charles Department Store in Mount Kisco, NY in 1924. Phil worked in the store before it moved to Bedford Hills, NY and to where it is today in Katonah, NY. His sons, Jim and Dave took over the store in 1992 and it is now a fourth-generation store run by Dave’s daughter, Kelly Raneri.


Phil went to schools in Bedford Hills and Katonah, NY. He was self-taught in radio engineering by taking apart and reassembling radios. He was the first kid to have a radio on his bicycle! This technical aptitude led him to a life-long hobby as a ham radio operator and to attend Tri-State College in Angola, Indiana where he studied engineering in 1943.


In 1944 he was drafted in the U.S. Army and rose to the rank of Technical Sergeant (Tec 4) radio repairman and served in the 94th Antiaircraft Artillery in Manila, Philippines when Manila received their independence. As a US Army Veteran, he received the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, a World War II Victory Medal upon honorable discharge.


Phil returned from the war to co-run Charles Department Store with his parents in 1947. In 1948 he met Claire Schroeder of Chappaqua, NY on a ski trip in New Hampshire. In 1950 he married, Claire, the love of his life, and true soul mate. In 1967 he became owner of Charles Department Store along with his wife, Claire, and they grew the store together. His radio hobby later became the radio and television sales and service business in the store. His early fascination with radio repair taught him how to fix almost anything in the store and beyond.


Phil was always active and enthusiastic in Katonah community affairs. He was involved in the Katonah Fire Department as a volunteer lieutenant and captain. He was a 75-year life-long member. He was active in the St Mary’s Parish Council, Boy Scout Troop 166, American Legion, Chamber of Commerce and received the Katonah Rotary Club’s Stan Schaefer award. He was President of the Katonah Memorial Park Association and loved skiing so much with his family that he designed and built an 850-foot ski tow at the park with the help of many volunteers and donations. 1,500 children learned and practiced skiing in one of the seasons and it became a model for other nearby communities. Phil had a passion for history and served as an executive committee member of the Katonah Village Improvement Society (KVIS). At the KVIS Centennial he gave walking tours of the Old Katonah site from where the city was moved to accommodate the Croton Reservoir System.


He was very enthusiastic about all his diverse hobbies: boating on Candlewood Lake, CT; skiing; sailing; hockey; figure skating; skate dancing and hunting. He was a life-long amateur ham radio operator.  


Claire and Phil moved to Nantucket, MA in 1998 and for the next 25 years he continued his hobbies: gardening with Claire; growing a pumpkin to 300 pounds; excelling at woodworking by making fine furniture and creating toys and wood art for his grandchildren. Great Point was his favorite place to fish and it was here he taught his family to surf cast. He enjoyed clamming; scalloping; crabbing; and golfing with Claire at Miacomet Golf Course.


On Nantucket, he continued his community involvement as a very active member of the Nantucket Amateur Radio Association. The Catholic faith was very important to Phil. He and Claire were active members of ‘Sconset Chapel and St. Mary, Our Lady of the Isle Catholic Church on Nantucket. He was an usher and participated in many church activities.


Phil was very optimistic, and positive about life, loving and generous to his family and friends.  He was a kind, and thoughtful person who went out of his way to help people in need. Later in life he continued to reach the hearts of many residents as he made his new home at the assisted living facility in Danbury, CT. Phil is predeceased by his wife, Claire, and his sister Mildred. He is survived by his sister, Regina Scimone of Maryland, and his five children, six grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; nieces; and nephew.


The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday, October 17th at 11:00 am at St. Mary Of The Assumption Church, 55 Valley Road, Katonah, NY.  Interment will follow at St. Francis Cemetery, Lexington Avenue, Mt. Kisco, NY.


In lieu of flowers, please consider contributions to RVNA Health Hospice, Ridgefield, CT: or Tunnel to Towers which benefits veterans:

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