Dobbie Schiff Kristoff and her identical twin sister loved to do that thing where they dressed exactly alike and confused people.
She helped design the miniskirted uniforms for the Flyerettes, the pep squad for the Philadelphia Flyers in the hockey team’s early years, and later worked as an executive producer at a computer animation company she founded in Los Angeles with her husband.
Ms. Schiff Kristoff, 84, a woman her family described as living life with “boundless energy,” died at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania on Dec. 2 from complications of leukemia.
When the NHL awarded an expansion franchise to Philadelphia in 1967, she was married to Jerry Schiff, one of the original partners in the Flyers. Her twin, Myrna, was married to Ed Snider, an owner of the team who built the Spectrum arena and later the sports-and-cable company Comcast Spectacor.
The two women helped set the “look” and feel of the franchise and the Spectrum, and they not only created but also modeled the Flyerette outfits, the family said.
They advocated for the players’ families and ensured the Flyers became the first NHL team to build a lounge for wives and children in its arena, said Lou Sheinfeld, a longtime vice president and spokesperson for the team.
“I called them the dynamic duo — they were like the glue,” Sheinfeld said. Ms. Schiff Kristoff and her sister “came to the building every day and made everybody from the janitors to the coaches and players feel like family.” He also said the pair kept spirits up in the organization. “We were working in a bunker in South Philadelphia that first year and we didn’t know if we were going to make it,” Sheinfeld said.
Ms. Schiff Kristoff also could be something of a prankster. She and Myrna liked to fool others — coworkers, friends, family — into mixing up the two. One time, Dobbie posed for photos with Snider at a charity event pretending to be her sister, according to her son Eric Schiff.
She was born to Shirley and Manuel Gordon in 1936 in Baltimore, and graduated in 1954 from Calvin Coolidge High School in Washington.
Her first marriage ended in divorce.
Ms. Schiff Kristoff helped run the campaign of former State Rep. Robert J. Butera in the 1978 Republican primary for Pennsylvania governor. Butera, the GOP floor leader in the House and a former Flyers president, finished third in a crowded field. She also was operations director for the Philadelphia Fever indoor soccer team at the time, and later sold Mary Kay cosmetics, among other jobs.
She married Jim Kristoff in 1986 and together a year later they founded Metrolight Studios in Los Angeles, which made computer-generated graphics and effects for TV and films. Ms. Schiff Kristoff won an Emmy for her work on the NBC broadcasts of the 1992 Olympics.
The two closed the firm in 2003 and moved to Newtown Square.
“My mom was a force,” said her son Eric, an actor, writer, and director in Los Angeles. She loved to paint and draw, and would sit in the front row near the instructor in her spin classes, “outpacing women half her age,” he said.
Ms. Schiff Kristoff would travel from coast-to-coast to attend concerts by her granddaughter Samantha Gongol, Philadelphia-based vocalist for the platinum-selling duo Marian Hill, her family said. Fans would tell Gongol they’d run into her grandmother and she was “amazing,” Eric Schiff said.
Just last year, she went to an Ariana Grande concert with another granddaughter and her friends. “She insisted on wearing glitter on her cheeks and collarbone like the 11-year-olds,” her son said.
“Most of all she cherished her big family and many friends, who always felt ‘seen’ by her,” he said.
In addition to her husband and son, Ms. Schiff Kristoff is survived by children Tracy Van Den Boomen, Kimberly Gongol, Steve Schiff, and Brian Kristoff, and seven grandchildren. Her twin sister died in 2014.
Services were held at West Laurel Hills in Bala Cynwyd on Dec. 6.