Phillip Lee Mitteldorf |

Phillip Lee Mitteldorf

Phillip Lee Mitteldorf, 57, of Santa Barbara and Incline Village, died peacefully in his Santa Barbara home on April 2, 2017. The cause of death was cancer, which for over three years, he met with courageous, highly focused, well-informed determination and grace.

How could mere words ever suffice in describing the amazing being of Phillip Mitteldorf? He was a lover. He loved books, and history, and maps, and people, and his dog Barkley, and conversation, and ideas, and learning, and being kind, and being generous, and fishing, and Alaska, and his old friends, and his new friends, and his family, and most of all, he loved his wife Tonya.

His good nature made an impression; Phillip was unique. He was a brilliant man of knowledge and warmth, a gentleman to the core. Any question as to why and how one man’s good nature could have made such a heartfelt impression on so many, would be put to rest quickly by the experience of Phillip’s companionship. His generosity of spirit was evidenced by his presence as well as by his deeds.

Phillip was an insatiably curious person, diving into books to broaden his already considerable knowledge of innumerable topics. He was accomplished in many fields. He studied and worked in medicine, exploring the possibility of continuing in the steps of his MD father and RN mother. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Physiological Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an M.B.A. from the University of Nevada in Reno. He loved Lake Tahoe, where he lived for many years, commuting over Mt. Rose to Reno where he worked as a portfolio manager with many good friends at Navallier & Associates.

When Phillip’s father’s health declined, Phillip often came to Santa Barbara to care for him. During this period, his 28 year friendship with Tonya Lynn Roberts deepened and they married in 2012. Tonya’s devotion to Phillip was extraordinary. Her endless attention to detail and advocacy for Phillip’s comfort was awe-inspiring.

Phillip is survived by his wife Tonya Lynn Roberts, his sister Carol Mitteldorf of Bochum, Germany, and his cousins Barry Sherman of Scottsdale, AZ, and Ellen Sherman of Las Vegas, NV.

The Memorial service will be held at their home on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at 3:00pm. 5115 Camino Floral, Santa Barbara, CA 93111. Reception to follow.

In lieu of flowers, Tonya invites you to plant a tribute tree in Phillip’s name, in Israel. Visit

Support Local Journalism


Support Local Journalism

Readers around Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and beyond make the Sierra Sun's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User