John J. (Jack) Harvey, a long-time resident of Los Altos before retiring to Montecito, California, passed away on January 17th with his wife and children by his side.
Jack was the epitome of the American Dream. Through hard work, determination, and the willingness to take a risk, Jack became a successful businessman and was recognized as one of the leading corporate executives in America.
Jack was born in Chicago, Illinois on April 16, 1931 to John Earl and Dolores (Lori) Harvey. After serving in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War, Jack graduated from Lake Forest College with a dual degree in Economics and History. He later received an MBA from Northwestern University.
After a short career as a stockbroker, Jack moved to the Silicon Valley in 1960 and became involved in the nascent semiconductor industry. In 1965, he became Chairman of Microscience Corporation, which was involved in reducing the size of electronic components in consumer devices. Jack’s biggest regret was refusing to invest in a company started by two young inventors, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, because he didn’t like the name of their company, “Apple.”
Jack became one of California’s preeminent investment bankers and turned around several well-known companies, including Dutch Boy Paint and Baltimore Paint and Chemical. Jack then started his own company, Artra Corporation, which was traded on the New York Stock Exchange. In 1979, Jack was invited to the White House and honored by President Jimmy Carter as one of America’s leading corporate executives.
After retiring to Montecito with his wife, Phyllis, he found time to enjoy golf (often winning trophies for the “Longest Drive”), bridge and poker, and he supported local charities, including serving as a director of Cornerstone, which helps children with disabilities.
Jack is survived by Phyllis, his loving wife of 36 years; four daughters, Lori Harvey (grandchildren Christopher and Trevor), Julie Valeriote (husband Chris and grandchildren Matthew, Jonny, Dominic and Christina), Katie Clapp (husband Jim and grandchildren Jamie and Nick) and Kim Harvey; and his step-children Stephanie Umstead (husband Ed, grandchild Sydney) and Stephen Young. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Peter.
Jack will be deeply missed and dearly remembered by his friends and family. A celebration of his life will be held at a future date.