He was born April 14, 1942 in Germantown, Philadelphia. He was the middle child of his father Francis McIlhenny and mother Sabina Sonzogni, with older sisters Sabine (Mandell) and Eileen (Robertshaw) and younger siblings Anita (Gabrielitis/deceased) and Vincent McIlhenny.
He graduated from Immaculate Conception (1956), Cardinal Dougherty High School (1960) and La Salle University, where he studied economics. He started in the mail room at Philco Ford and worked his way up to negotiating defense contracts with the government for them along with General Electric, Martin Marietta, and Lockheed Martin. He was known for entertaining families by playing Batman during elaborate company Christmas party productions and saving Santa and the kids from The Joker and the Penguin.
McIlhenny rowed for Penn AC and played basketball for them at Plastid Hall on Boat House Row where he was known as “The Hawk” and “Fluidity in Motion” by his opponents and teammates.
He loved to read, travel, go to movies and spend time with his family. He was known for his sense of humor, selflessness, generosity and wisdom.
After retirement, he spent his summers in Cape Cod and winters in Gainesville Florida. He is survived by his wife Joanne Lindauer McIlhenny, his son Richard (wife Marissa), and daughters Lisa McIlhenny Pereira, Ruth McIlhenny, Sarah McIlhenny White (husband Morgan), and Julia McIlhenny Glorioso (husband Richard) and 13 grandchildren and one great-grandson.
A viewing will be held Sunday, Oct. 14 from 6-8 p.m. at Lownes Family Funeral Home 659 Germantown Pike, Lafayette Hill, PA 19444.
And Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, Oct. 15 at 10:30 a.m. Holy Cross Church, 140 E. Mt. Airy Avenue. Viewing is at 9:30 a.m.
“In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of Francis McIlhenny in support of Dr. Sato’s Uveal Melanoma Research at Jefferson’s Cancer Center. Donations can be mailed to Office of Institutional Advancement, Jefferson, 125 S. 9th Street, Suite 600, Philadelphia, PA 19107.