William Platt, 87, corporate vice president

William Platt
William Platt
Posted: March 22, 2014

William "Bill" Platt, 87, of Broomall, a corporate vice president for a consumer electronics company, died Wednesday, March 19, of heart failure at Lankenau Hospital.

Starting in the 1950s, Mr. Platt was a salesman of radios, TVs, and air conditioners. In the 1970s, he became branch manager of Emerson Quiet Kool Corp. in Northeast Philadelphia.

When Emerson was bought out by Fedders Corp. in the late 1980s, Mr. Platt became a corporate vice president of the air-conditioner manufacturing firm.

He liked the work, but it wasn't his passion, said his son Larry, the former editor of the Philadelphia Daily News. Mr. Platt's passion was being fully engaged as an American citizen.

He voted without fail, read newspapers, thought about public issues - especially politics - and formed opinions. Nothing was sacrosanct.

When someone - or something - struck him as immoral or unwise, he sounded off in voice messages, newspaper columns, letters to elected officials, and e-mails to 500 readers of a newsletter called the "Platt Chat."

After he retired in the early 1990s, he ramped up the Platt Chat. "They were pretty entertaining and probably sometimes libelous," his son said.

As a father, Mr. Platt set an example for high moral standards. "I never met anyone who used the words right and wrong more often," his son said. "He would let you know what he thought. He was not a moral relativist; there were no shades of gray."

As a medical patient, Mr. Platt showed courage, undergoing in 2011 the first heart-valve replacement via catheter, threaded through the groin, at New York Presbyterian Hospital. In its infancy then, the procedure is common now.

"That happened on a Tuesday. By Friday he walked out of the hospital," his son said.

Born in Philadelphia, Mr. Platt graduated from West Philadelphia High School and Temple University. He enlisted in the Navy during World War II and was stationed in Seattle, where he boasted about protecting the West Coast from the enemy.

He did the same during the Korean War, enlisting in the Coast Guard. He was based in Philadelphia, where single-handedly, he bragged, he kept the enemy away from the Eastern shores.

The 6-foot-4, 270-pound Mr. Platt could command a room. His one soft spot, though, was his grandchildren, for whom he was a pushover, his son said.

Surviving, beside his son, are his wife, the former Sondra Fishbach; another son, Paul; a daughter, Bethann; four grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

A funeral will be at 11 a.m. Friday, March 21, at Goldsteins' Rosenberg's Raphael-Sacks, 6410 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia. Interment is in Har Nebo Cemetery, Philadelphia.

The family will sit shivah at its Delaware County home Saturday and Sunday evenings.



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