RIFE Stanley Phillip September 6, 1944 November 3, 2019 Stanley Phillip Rife died peacefully Sunday, November 3, 2019 at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital. Phil was born in Roanoke on September 6, 1944 to Stanley S. and Myrtle C. Rife and packed a lot of loving and living into his 75 years. He was preceded in death by his parents and his son, Neal Ashley Rife. Phil is survived by his wife of 56 years, Sandra Shannon Rife; brother, Richard (Luanne) Rife of Roanoke; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Ira "Pete" and Betty Lou Shannon Crawford of Radford, and Toby and Kathy Shannon Cox of Vinton; nieces and nephews, Alex Kirkland of Alexandria, Shannon Crawford and wife, Corinna, of Archdale, N.C., Paige Crawford of Chicago, Jennifer Traud of Pittsburgh, Pamela (James) McNally of Jeanette, Pa., Loran (John) Allen of Bedford and Grace Williams of Richmond; special friend, Heather Dameron and children of Wilmington, N.C. Phil attended Andrew Lewis High School and then Virginia Tech where he earned a degree in business administration. He served his country in the United States Navy, including a tour in Vietnam. Phil was an avid Hokie fan and owned four season tickets long before the Frank Beamer era, and at a time when it was difficult to find two other people willing to go to games. He enjoyed tailgating with Sandy, their friends and his late father-in-law, Andy Shannon. Upon discharge from the Navy, Phil began his business career with Armour - Dial in Roanoke. He and Sandy then opened Shop Rite, the first grocery store at Smith Mountain Lake about 1980 and operated it for many years. Later, Phil and Sandy sold real estate at the Lake, where they made their home and enjoyed entertaining their many friends at cookouts on their dock. They moved to Vinton about three years ago and continued to enjoy playing cards and socializing with their friends. Phil was active in the lake's business community and was a founder of the Smith Mountain Lake Wine Festival. Phil fancied himself a wine connoisseur. His family still chuckles at one occasion when upon ordering a particular bottle, the restaurant owner informed Phil there are wines for drinking and wines for cooking, and that he would not even use that wine to cook. Phil recovered quickly, chatting about regions and grapes. That was Phil: resilient, always of good humor and big-hearted. Sadly, his physical heart developed a number of complex diseases. He underwent life-saving procedures at the University of Virginia Medical Center and four years ago received a left ventricular assist device at Duke. He was so grateful to the research and talent at these facilities, that he purchased both UVa and Duke t-shirts. Phil and Sandy enjoyed traveling extensively throughout the U.S. and abroad. Some of their most memorable trips were to Great Britain, Scandinavia, Russia, China and Vietnam. Their favorite was trip was to Australia and New Zealand. Phil longed to return to Alaska, and he and his brother, Richard, journeyed there last fall where they encountered grizzly bears, fished for salmon and saw Denali. Phil's friends and family are invited to visit at 7 p.m. Thursday, November 7, 2019 at Oakey's in Vinton. In lieu of flowers, donations to advance heart research locally can be made in Phil's memory to Tech's Fralin Biomedical Research Institute, 2 Riverside Circle, Roanoke or online at https://apps.es.vt.edu/onlinegiving/gift by selecting the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute.


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Sandi Saunders

I remember when he opened ShopRite back in the day and it was a Godsend for people who had to drive to Roanoke or Bedford from the lake for groceries. He was always so community minded and friendly. So sorry for your loss and I hope the memories will sustain you all.

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