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John E. Harvey

1921 - 2016 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Harvey, John E.
age 94 of Scottsdale, AZ passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family, after a brief illness on May 31, 2016. He was born July 25, 1921 to Mary Brady and James Harvey in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A rambunctious young man coming from humble beginnings he joined the U.S. Army at the age of 18 intent on becoming "a good man". Serving in the U.S. Army's last mounted cavalry unit developed his lifelong passion for horses and horsemanship. His time in the military was a great adventure developing his love of travel, culture, and boxing, becoming the Army boxing champion. The military brought him to Austria where he met his beloved wife of
66 years, Helga. With his natural leadership and passion for learning he quickly moved through the ranks, eventually retiring at the rank of Command Sergeant Major. Although he was no longer in active service he forever remained a soldier. After a distinguished military career, he had yet another long and very successful career with Aetna Life and Casualty, which brought him and his family to Scottsdale, Arizona in 1972. John continued to pursue his passion for horses and horsemanship founding the still active Scottsdale Saddle Club with close friends and leading the Scottsdale Saddle Club Drill Team. He engaged every individual he met, particularly youths, helping them to understand their self-worth and encouraging them to thrive to their fullest potential. He remained a mentor, confidant and father figure to many, but most especially to his daughters, grandson and his many nieces and nephews. He continued to enjoy traveling the world, spending many of his summers in Austria. He loved reading, music and fine food, but most of all he loved meeting and getting to know people; sharing his life experiences and learning of theirs. His home was open to people from around the globe and there was always a seat available at his table. He was the quintessential man of character and integrity. He was a devoted husband, father and grandfather to his wife Helga, daughters Maria-Harvey Makin of Georgia and Maggie Harvey Alderson of Scottsdale, their husbands John and Fred and his grandson Jack. He is survived by a strong Harvey legacy in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; his sister May and his 70 plus nieces and nephews. He was a pillar of the Harvey family and very proud to know the next generation in the Harvey legacy. He was pre-deceased by his siblings Phillip, James and Kathleen. A memorial service for the world's truly most fascinating man will be held at a future date. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation in John's name to: Journey's End Ranch Animal Sanctuary, the Humane Society or the Wounded Warrior Foundation. You can rest now John, as you truly were a great man.
Published in The Arizona Republic on June 5, 2016
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