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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- Phyllis "Philly" Dake, widow of the former co-owner of Stewart's Shops, died today. She was 85 and passed away due to complications from Huntington's Disease, the convenience store chain confirmed..
Stewart's currently offers a remembrance of Dake in the "Stewart's Scoops" section of its website.
Dake is credited with inventing the Make Your Own Sundae concept, which remains a convenience store staple.
"In 1947 Philly Dake had a simple idea -- let people make ice cream sundaes the way they want it -- and to the joy of millions of people, the Make Your Own Sundae became a signature at Stewart's Shops," the c-store chain posted on its website. "Her idea also developed into letting customers make their coffee, deli dogs, even their morning toast the way they like it. She changed the culture of Stewart's."
Dake was married to the late Charles S. Dake. Together, the Cornell University graduates ran Saratoga Dairy, which eventually became known as Stewart's Shops Corp.
According to The Business Review, Dake was involved in many charitable causes, including the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Hospital, Saratoga YMCA, Cornell University, Sienna College and the Community Hospice.
In addition, Dake created Stewart's MYO (Make Your Own) scholarship program, which has given away nearly $2 million to 211 company employees to help them pay for college during the past 13 years, the news source reported.