Philip M. Efron, 78, born in Seattle, Wash., a Nashville area resident of many years, died Saturday morning, July 28 at his home in McMinnville.
His death came after a long battle with emphysema. His wife, Janice Dowell, is a nurse and he was fortunate to have her at his side during the long progression of this illness, giving him strength as well as comfort. For many years, he owned and operated Douglas Corner Cleaners in Nashville where he was known as “Cleaner to the Stars.” He was honored for his annual clothing drive for the homeless and needy. Any donated garment brought to Douglas Corner Cleaners would be dry cleaned without charge before being turned over to the various agencies serving the less fortunate.
A serial entrepreneur, Phil earlier created similar establishments in Moraga, Calif., and in Las Vegas, Nev., where he specialized in the overnight cleaning of performers’ costumes to make them ready for the next show. His walls were covered with autographed photos of headliners and others; one prized possession was a check written by Col. Tom Parker to Phil for work he'd done for Elvis. The award-winning Moraga business graced the cover of The American Drycleaner magazine for its unique design and approach to “old fashioned customer care.”
He is survived by wife Janice; his daughter, Erica (and partner Celeste) of W. Jordan, Utah who had been at his side only hours before; sons, Greg of Spokane, Wash., and Ted of Seattle, Wash.; brother, David (Judy) of Scottsdale, Ariz.; sister, Deborah of Bellevue, Wash. He was preceded in death by his son, Howard.
Graveside services were held at Congregation Micah in Brentwood on July 31.
(McMinnville, Tenn.) Aug. 1, 2012