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Robert Hutchins "Tad" Jeffrey II


1929 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Robert Hutchins "Tad" Jeffrey II Obituary
Jeffrey II Robert "Tad" Hutchins Jeffrey II, died peacefully at home surrounded by family on February 13, 2016. Descended from the early Franklin County families of Colonel James Kilbourne and Joseph Andrew Jeffrey, Tad was a creative thinker and business and community leader who reinvented a fourth generation family business and was dedicated to improving Columbus. Upon his retirement from The Jeffrey Company in 2000 Tad was honored for "the courage to create change, the vision to innovate and the wisdom and strength to lead." Many organizations have benefited from his logical and concise thinking, his willingness to challenge conventional wisdom, and his ability to extract simplicity from complexity. Born in Columbus June 23, 1929, Tad attended Bexley elementary schools and Columbus Academy (Class of '47). He graduated from Williams College in 1951, received an MBA from the Harvard Business School in 1953, and then served as a Lieutenant in the United States Navy for three years during the Korean War. Tad married his best friend and devoted partner in life, Nancy Kittredge, in 1951. This March they would have celebrated 65 years of marriage. He is survived by their four children, Anne (Rick - deceased) Wright, Ardmore, PA, Sally (Mark) O'Neil, Sudbury, MA, Betsy (Tom) Balderston, Ardmore, PA, and Andy (Dorothy) Jeffrey, North Andover, MA; and 13 grandchildren who call him G'pa. Tad and Nancy came to Columbus in 1956 when he joined the family business, Jeffrey Manufacturing Company. Founded by his great grandfather in 1876, the company was a pioneer in the field of mining mechanization and expanded to industrial and construction machinery. Starting with summer jobs, he worked his way up through various positions in the firm, and became President of The Jeffrey Company in 1974. He was most proud of turning the Jeffrey Mining Machinery division around and reestablishing Jeffrey as a leader in the industry. In 1974 Tad led the family's decision to sell the business to Dresser Industries, and he started a second career as the president of a private investment company. With his sharp problem-solving and engineering mindset, Tad crafted a tailor-made investment strategy to fit the family's particular needs, which he referred to as "The Better Way." He was recognized as an innovator in tax aware investing and published a number of articles in the field of portfolio management. Tad served as President of the Company until he retired in 2000. Tad also served on the boards of Dayton Malleable Iron Company, State Savings Company, Amcast Industrial, Crane Plastics, Orion Capital Corporation, Webster Industries, and Minnetrista Corp. Tad had a life-long passion for the outdoors which was nurtured over many summers at Keewaydin Camp on Lake Temagami in Ontario and around the family's summer camp in the Adirondacks. He enjoyed hiking with his children and grandchildren and meticulously marked his expeditions on a map on the wall of their cottage. In 1992, he was appointed to the Board of Commissioners of the Metropolitan Park District of Columbus and Franklin County. He has walked nearly every trail and canoed every waterway in the park system. In 1998, he championed the creation of Three Creeks Park in south Columbus. He encouraged the development of natural play areas to enable people to "get off the trails." In 2009, he chaired the Metro Parks levy campaign and received the Outstanding Leadership Award from the Ohio Parks and Recreation Association. In 2011, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Ohio Wildlife Center. He also served as a trustee of the Ohio chapter of The Nature Conservancy for many years. Tad was a believer in the importance of education and helped establish endowment policies for many schools and non-profit organizations. He served as a trustee for the Columbus School for Girls and the Columbus Academy, from which he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award. He also was on the board of Capital University, Franklin University, Online Computer Library Center (OCLC), and Columbus College of Art and Design. In 1985, he received an honorary degree from Capital University. With Nancy, he received the 2011 Julian Sinclair Smith Award for Lifelong Learning from the Metropolitan Library Foundation. His passion for learning led him to the art of woodworking, and by all accounts, he developed into a very skilled woodworker. Tad served on the board of Nationwide Children's Hospital for over forty years. He was Vice Chair of the United Way of Franklin County and chaired the Franklin County Children's Services Levy campaign in 1981. He also was on the boards of Green Lawn Cemetery, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and Opera Columbus. Tad was a founding member of the board for COSI - Columbus Center of Science and Industry. In 1973, The Jeffrey Mining Machinery Company installed a very popular "coal mine" exhibit on the lower level of COSI on Broad Street. He was a COSI Ambassador at the time of his death. Tad had a deep interest in Ohio history. He was a member of the boards of the Ohio Historical Society, Franklin County Historical Society, and of the Columbus Historical Society. Tad was a dedicated member of the Columbus Club, The Rocky Fork Hunt & Country Club, The Golf Club, and the Underwood Club of New Russia, New York. Tad was a good friend to many. A celebration of his life will be held at First Congregational Church, on Saturday, February 20 at 11 a.m. followed by a reception. The Rev. Dr. Tim Ahrens officiating. Private interment at Green Lawn Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Tad's memory to Friends of Metro Parks, 1069 W. Main St., Westerville, OH 43081; COSI, 333 W. Broad St., Columbus, Ohio 43215; Columbus School for Girls, 56 S. Columbia Ave., Columbus, Ohio 43209; or Friends of Green Lawn Cemetery, 1000 Greenlawn Ave., Columbus, Ohio 43223. Arrangements by SCHOEDINGER MIDTOWN CHAPEL, 229 E State St. Columbus, OH 43215. Please visit www.schoedinger.com to share a memory of Tad.
Published in The Columbus Dispatch from Feb. 15 to Feb. 16, 2016
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