Philip Pendleton Ardery

Philip Pendleton Ardery

Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky, USA
Death 26 Jul 2012 (aged 98)
Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky, USA
Burial Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky, USA
Memorial ID 94415869 · View Source
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ARDERY, PHILIP PENDLETON, 98, died July 26, 2012 at his home in Louisville.

A decorated veteran of World War II and lawyer, Phil dedicated his last 30 years to writing and to serving many charitable and civic causes as a hard-charging organizer and fund-raiser.

He was born March 6, 1914, in Lexington, KY, son of William Breckenridge and Julia Hoge Spencer Ardery. His father served in the Kentucky General Assembly and was Judge of Kentucky's 14th Circuit from 1936 until 1967. His mother, a genealogist and writer, was an early preservationist in Bourbon County. She led the movement to save the Duncan Tavern in Paris, built in 1788, four years before Kentucky became a state.

Phil grew up on a farm between Paris and Lexington, and the people, plants, and animals of Bourbon County left deep impressions on him, which he loved recounting. His writings about some of them appeared in Heroes and Horses, a collection of essays published by the University Press of Kentucky in 1996.

He attended the Paris city schools and went on to the University of Kentucky, where he studied English literature and graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1935. Phil attended law school at Harvard, graduating in 1938, and was admitted to the Kentucky Bar that year.

Although he had joined the U.S. Infantry Reserve in 1935, in 1940 Phil enlisted in the Army Air Corps as a private. He graduated 1st Captain of the Flying Cadet Corps from Kelly Field in San Antonio, TX, in April 1941 and was assigned to serve as a flight instructor at Goodfellow Field in San Angelo, TX. There, he met his bride-to-be, Anne Stuyvesant Tweedy, at a dance. They were married at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in San Angelo December 6, 1941, the day before Pearl Harbor was bombed.

Capt. Ardery commanded the 564th Bomb Squadron (H) beginning in February 1943, joining the 389th Bomb Group (H) based in Norwich, England, that June.

From outposts in North Africa, he flew B-24s on many missions across the Mediterranean, including the first low-level raid on oil refineries at Ploesti, Romania, for which he earned the Silver Star.

From England and North Africa, he flew raids over Vegesack, Bayeux, Solingen, and Oslo during the winter of 1943-44, leading up to the invasion of Normandy. He led the 2nd Combat Bomb Wing on the first daylight bombing of Berlin in March 1944 and flew on the first mission of D-Day, June 6, 1944. His memoir of the war, Bomber Pilot, was published in 1978.

Discharged from active duty in 1945, Phil was named two years later to command the 123rd Fighter Wing of the newly formed Kentucky Air National Guard. Called to active duty during the Korean War, Phil and the 123rd relocated to England, where Phil served as wing-base commander of the NATO Air Force, RAF Station, in Manston, 1951-52.

After deactivation, he continued to command the 123rd, which at times included air groups in other states as well as Kentucky's group based at Louisville's Standiford Field. Phil was promoted to Brigadier General in April 1962 and retired from the military as a Major General in 1965.

Phil first practiced law in Frankfort before the war as a solo practitioner, taking virtually any client who came in the door or was assigned to him by the court. After he returned from the war, Phil practiced at various times with Edward F. Prichard, Jr., A.E. Funk, Jr., Charles Hobson, and Henry Meigs. By 1946, he had built up his practice and became chief counsel for Kentucky's growing system of rural electric cooperatives, at a time when much of rural Kentucky lacked electric power. Phil handled regulatory issues, trial work, and general corporate and financing matters for the separate cooperatives, the East Kentucky Power Cooperative, and the Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives.

In 1952, Phil and his family moved to Louisville. He practiced law with Harrison M. Robertson, then J. Royden Peabody, before co-founding Brown, Ardery, Todd & Dudley in June 1959. The firm merged with Brown, Eldred & Bonnie and Marshall, Cochran, Heyburn & Wells in 1972 to form Brown, Todd, & Heyburn, then Kentucky's largest firm. Phil retired from the practice of law in 1979.

Phil was deeply engaged by the progressive politics of the Roosevelt administration and in his early 20s became active in the Democratic Party.

From his days as a high school debater, he relished discussion and found in electoral politics a place for philosophical exercise, practical action, and sport. He ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination for a U.S. Senate seat (1946) and was the Democratic candidate for Kentucky's 3rd Congressional District in 1956, losing to John Robsion. He was elected to the Jefferson County Fiscal Court in 1958, an office he resigned three years later.

Raised in his mother's faith, the Disciples of Christ (Christian Church), Phil later became an Episcopalian. The Arderys were early members of St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in Louisville and have been active in the congregation for more than 60 years. Phil served on its vestry and was a deputy to five Episcopal General Conventions, including the 1976 convention where he proudly voted for the ordination of women.

He was chairman of the Kentucky Heart Association 1955-58 and chaired the American Heart Association from 1966-69. He was a trustee of the University of the South (Sewanee) 1977-80 and served on the boards of many civic and charitable organizations, notably the Amelia Brown Frazier Rehabilitation Center (later Frazier Rehab Institute), Jewish Hospital, the Thomas D. Clark Foundation, the Kentucky Horse Park, the Kentucky Historical Society, The Filson Club (later Filson Historical Society), and Ballet Español.

In the early 1980s, Phil became an ardent advocate for mental health, a cause he pursued for more than two decades. With Barry Bingham, Sr., Bosworth Todd, and Dr. Herb Wagemaker, Phil and others founded the Schizophrenia Foundation of Kentucky in 1981. Out of this organization grew Wellspring, which now provides housing, care and rehabilitation for people with mental illness at nineteen sites throughout Jefferson and neighboring counties. Wellspring's first residential home, located on South Third Street in Louisville, is named Ardery House.

Also in 1981 Barry Bingham, Bosworth Todd, and Phil organized American Schizophrenia Foundation, Inc., as a Kentucky non-profit corporation. They worked with generous donors in New York, and the organization was renamed as the National Alliance for Research in Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD). Today, it is managed in New York, offers its services under the name "Brain and Behavior Research Foundation," and remains incorporated in Kentucky in honor of its Kentucky founders. Since 1987, this organization has awarded nearly $300 million in research grants to scientists in the United States and 25 other countries.

Phil worked for these organizations as a fundraiser and board member for more than twenty years. He also served on the boards of the Mental Health Association of Kentucky and the Louisville Alliance for the Mentally Ill.

"Everything does not have to have a beginning or an end," Phil wrote in 2002 in an essay musing on the legal question of when life begins. "Infinity is infinite. One of the things within the realm of infinity is life." Phil's long life was the daily occupation of Anne Tweedy Ardery, his wife and friend for almost 71 years. He is survived by Anne; son, Philip Pendleton Ardery Jr. and his wife Cecilia Palacio Ardery, son Joseph Lord Tweedy Ardery and his wife Anne Lenihan Ardery, all of Louisville, and daughter Julia Spencer Ardery and her husband, William Allen Bishop, of Austin, TX. His son Peter Brooks Ardery died July 15, 1974 while traveling in India. Beloved grandchildren are Oliver Benjamin Ardery of New York City, Ruben Reinaldo Ardery and Joseph Breckenridge Ardery of Louisville, Rose Lenihan Ardery Shepherd and her husband Kenneth Bradley Shepherd of Lexington, James Lord Ardery of Brooklyn, NY, Anne Tweedy Ardery of Somerville, MA, and Philip Pendleton Ardery III, of Arlington, VA.

Phil's family is grateful for the months of service provided by Eva Spaid's Care Network and is especially grateful to Betty Goins, Diane Coleman, Lynn Brawner, Bernice Dillon, Jennifer McFarland, Collis Marshall, Janet Whitaker, Beverly Grant, Dee Evans, and Gina Jo Foster.

There will be a visitation from 4-7 p.m. Monday at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church, 330 N. Hubbards Lane with private burial at Cave Hill Cemetery. A memorial service will take place at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church Tuesday at 11 a.m., followed by a reception at the church.

Phil Ardery may be remembered by gifts sent to Wellspring, P.O. Box 1927, Louisville, KY 40201-1927 (, or the charity of your choice.

Family Members


  • Created by: sarahdepity
  • Added: 29 Jul 2012
  • Find a Grave Memorial 94415869
  • Beth Painter
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Philip Pendleton Ardery (6 Mar 1914–26 Jul 2012), Find a Grave Memorial no. 94415869, citing Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky, USA ; Maintained by sarahdepity (contributor 47712486) .