****The date of death listed above is incorrect, this is for archive purposes only. The correct date of death is listed in the obituary below.****
A loving husband and father, Dr. Phillip B. Niffenegger, 80, of Murray, Kentucky passed away peacefully on Saturday, March 12, 2022 with his family by his side.
Phil was born in Phoenix, Arizona, May 8th, 1941 to John and Hildegard (neè Finch) Niffenegger. The youngest of three sons, he grew up in South Haven, Michigan.
In 1964, Phil graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Business Administration. He went on to work at H.J. Heinz Company conducting market research in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. While working at Heinz, Phil also taught night classes at Robert Morris College, where he discovered his love of teaching. It was during this time that he met Joann Plutis, his wife of 51 years.
After earning his Ph.D in Business from the University of South Carolina (Columbia) in 1977, Phil moved his family, which now included a young son Eric, to Murray Kentucky where he began teaching business courses in the College of Business at Murray State University. During his thirty-five year career at MSU he taught thousands of students, and retired as a Full Professor.
During his career, Phil published articles and studies in numerous profession publications with Murray State colleagues as well as scholars from around the country and the world.
In 1978 Phil accepted a Fullbright Scholarship to the Bristol Polytechnic (now Bristol University) in England where he lived with his family for a year.
He returned to Murray State the following year and began to pursue another of his professional passions, video production. Phil was among the the first educators to bring custom, professional instructional videos, that accompanied textbooks into wide use in the classroom.
By 1985, Phil's company, NiffEd Productions signed as the exclusive producer of educational videos for the Richard D. Irwin Company, a major publisher of business textbooks.
Phil's love for his adopted community of Murray was evident in both is genorousity and service. He served on the Main Street Committee for several years, advising local leaders on the rejuvination of Murray's historic court square. Additionally, Phil often consulted for local businesses by conducting market research and customer satisfaction surveys. He frequently hired recent graduates and graduate students from his program to run the studies, proccess data and report the findings with recommedations to local businesses, thus giving these students valuable real work experience in their field, while helping businesses to improve their marketing programs.
Also in the 1980's, Phil helped to establish the Thai Student Union at Murray State. This community helped offer local support and foster cameraderie for students attending university in a foreign country. He once even traveled to Thailand with several students.
Phil loved music and technology and filled all of the spaces in which he dwelt with music and light. This helped influence his son, Eric, to take up the drums as his instrument of choice, on way to becoming a professsional musician.
In addition to his parents, Phil was proceeded in death by his brother, Jack Niffenegger, and his Aunt Eleanor and Uncle Ashley of Arkansas. Phil is survived by his brother and sister-in-law, James and Joyce Niffenegger of Sarasota, Florida, his wife, Joann Plutis Niffenegger of Murray, and his son Eric, and daughter-in-law Nicole Winter, of Chicago, Illinois. Additionally, Phil is survived by many nieces, and nephews who truly loved their 'Uncle Phil'.
A celebration of Phil's life is planned for Saturday, August 20th at the Greek Icarian Club in Verona, Pennsylvania. Donations in Phils name are welcomed to the United Way of Murray/Calloway County, and the Humane Society of Calloway County.
J.H. Churchill Funeral Home and Cremation Services assisted in Phil's final arrangements.