About Irving and Phyllis

Man in Red Tie

Irving and Phyllis were friendly, industrious people from modest backgrounds who both loved animals. They met and married when they were working in New York City’s garment manufacturing center, where Irving went on to achieve great business success. During their lives together, they continually enjoyed the presence of wonderful pets, which they dearly loved. They donated generously to animal welfare.

Phyllis Millstein

Beginning in the 1960’s, when raincoats were only a sideline for manufacturers, Irving and his business partner successfully produced a brand of high-fashion women’s all-weather outerwear. The Millsteins prospered, and they were generous to those around them.

In the mid-1960s, the Millsteins retained a young attorney, Robert J. Randell, to assist them with a zoning issue. Their house-keeper was retiring, and they decided to buy her a house with two rental units to ensure that she had a place to live and a source of income. The Millsteins’ relationship with Robert Randell grew over the years, and he became their attorney for their personal affairs.

Together, Irving and Phyllis lived a happy and productive lives together in their Manhattan and Amagansett, NY residences. Irving passed away first, in 1998.

In 2002, Phyllis became ill while spending the summer on Long Island. She was within hours of death when her property caretaker and his wife discovered her unconscious in her Amagansett home. Phyllis had been friends with the couple for years, and they were worried when they could not contact her. Fortunately, they had a key to the house. 

After a long recovery, Phyllis purchased a waterfront dwelling on Long Island’s south shore as a gift to the couple who had found her, in an area where she knew they had always wanted to live.

During the years before her death in 2009, Phyllis established a number of trusts, mostly in support of institutions benefiting animals. Through her will, she made a gift of $100,000 to her then long-time house-keeper, provided for the care of her many pets, and left the entire balance of her estate to a charitable trust for the benefit of animals, the forerunner of The Irving  and Phyllis Millstein Foundation for Animal Welfare®.  

Phyllis appointed their longtime attorney, Robert Randell, as the trustee for the charitable trust. In 2018, Robert converted the trust into a foundation so that it may better serve the Millstein’s wishes to assist animals. Robert passed away in 2021. Randell family members now serve as Foundation officials and work in concert with charitable organizations and the communities they serve.