John Peter and Jean ((nee Smith)) Nettelfield


John Peter Nettelfield (1934-2012)
Jean Nettelfield (nee Smith) (1941-2012)

John Peter Nettelfield, 78, a businessman in the field of biotechnology, and his wife Jean Nettelfield (nee Smith), 70, an educator, died in Ramsey, Minnesota on Sept.1. They had resided in San Antonio for more than three decades.
The Nettelfields were struck by a sports utility vehicle (SUV) while crossing a street in Ramsey, Minnesota where they were staying overnight en route to Texas after visiting family in Canada.
Mr. Nettelfield was a member of the Board of Directors of Nerium Biotechnology, an international company that focuses on development of anti-cancer products from natural botanical compounds. Nerium has pioneered the use of the nerium oleander plant in the treatment of cancer, immune system disorders and dermatological problems. It currently has a product in a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clinical trial at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
"Peter was more than a business associate and partner; he was a good friend and was viewed as a family member to every individual here at Nerium," said Nerium Chief Executive Officer, Dennis Knocke.
"As the very first director to join Nerium, he unselfishly shared his time and broad business experience. He provided guidance and expertise not only as a director, but also assisted in the daily business operations during a very critical time in our company's development.
"Peter was an awesome gentleman, a man of integrity, and an eternal optimist," Knocke added. "He was a kind, caring, and sharing individual, who went out of his way to assist anyone and everyone with any problem, large or small. Peter was a true humanitarian and he will be missed tremendously by all."
Joe Nester, Nerium's chief financial officer said, "Peter was always trying to find a way to help you out, as long as it didn't involve a computer."
Mr. Nettelfield had a long career that spanned investment banking and real estate development, in addition to biotechnology. He attended the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg and prior to graduation joined the prestigious Canadian firm Wood Gundy & Company Ltd. where he assisted in the initial development of the Canadian money market. He then joined Burns Bros. & Denton. While there, at the invitation of Sir John Templeton, he became a director of the Templeton Growth Fund. He later opened the West Coast office of Jones, Gable and Company Ltd. in Vancouver.
Upon leaving the investment business in Canada, Mr. Nettelfield moved to Texas in 1977 where he became president of the Texas subsidiary of a Canadian real estate development company, Headway Corporation Ltd., and oversaw commercial development in Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio.
He was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1934 to John Barnard and Amy Nettelfield (nee Soper). The family later moved to Toronto, Ontario.
Mrs. Nettelfield spent more than three decades in higher education. She graduated from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa, in 1963 where she was a member of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority and the Phi Gamma Nu business fraternity. She joined the faculty of St. Philip's College in 1982. At St. Philips she taught business administration courses, including professional development, business English, and business communications, among others. At her retirement in 2005, she became an adjunct faculty member.
"Jean always said that professional development was her favorite course because it touched on the soft skills and topics that helped everyone take a better look at how they treated others and the choices they made in life," said Janie N. Gonzalez, chair of the Department of Business Information Solutions at St. Philip's. For her excellence in teaching, she received the St. Philip's College Faculty Advising Award, the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development Teaching Excellence Award, and was recognized as a Teacher of the Year by the Texas Business Educators Association (TBEA).
She also headed the college's first incubator program. From 1993 to 1998, she was the coordinator of the St. Paul Square Small Business Incubator, a project funded by a grant from the Department of Labor. Later she coordinated a similar program that had an impact on businesses in south Texas --the Weslaco Small Business Incubator. She also founded the Corporate and Entrepreneurial Training Center, which still functions today. Mrs. Nettelfield was a member of the Board of Directors of the Bexar County Opportunities Industrialization Center, which provides job training for disadvantaged individuals.
"Jean was a teacher, yet always willing to learn. She was a lady of many talents and shared them with many. She was a blessing to others and left this world a better place," said friend of many decades, Betty Godfrey.
"Jean had a warm smile, a loving manner, a giving soul, and caring support more than words can convey," said friend Colleen Barrett, president emeritus of Southwest Airlines.
Mrs. Nettelfield moved to San Antonio in 1974 where she worked for several years as a legal secretary at the law firm Oppenheimer, Rosenberg, Kelleher & Wheatley Inc. before becoming a full-time educator. She lived in Maine, Germany, Alabama and Big Spring, Texas, before settling in San Antonio.
Born in Chicago in 1941 to Glenn Kenneth and Velma Smith (nee Alde), she grew up in the Chicago suburb of Des Plaines, attended Maine Township High School, and taught piano and accordion prior to attending college.
Despite many years in other places, the Nettelfields were loyal Texans. The couple was happiest at their ranch near Hondo, where they gardened and took great pride in tending to native plants and wild animals found on the property. Mr. Nettelfield, however, was proud of his heritage and retained his Canadian citizenship throughout his time in the US.
Mr. and Mrs. Nettelfield are survived by seven children: Marta Nettelfield of Berwyn, Alberta; John Nettelfield of Vancouver, British Columbia; Lynn Nettelfield of Toronto, Ontario; Lara Nettelfield of London, United Kingdom; Brad Norris of Centreville, Virginia; Andrea Norris and Brent Norris of San Antonio, in addition to 11 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. The couple is also survived by Mrs. Nettelfield's brother, Joel Smith, of Shell Rock, Iowa. Mr. Nettelfield was predeceased by his son William Peter Nettelfield. Patricia Anne Soper, Mr. Nettelfield's sister, died in 2005.
Service info: A memorial service will be held Oct. 25, at 3 p.m. at the MacArthur Park Lutheran Church 2903 Nacogdoches Rd. San Antonio, TX 78217.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be sent to the Bexar County Opportunities Industrialization Center (BCOIC) of San Antonio, P.O. Box 202233, San Antonio, Texas 78220.

Published in Express-News on Oct. 23, 2012