Paul Morrison Wythes
Was born on June 23, 1933 in Camden, New Jersey, to Marion and William Wythes. He was the youngest of three boys, all of whom were raised in Haddonfield, New Jersey. Paul graduated from Haddonfield Memorial High School in 1951 and matriculated to Princeton University that fall. He graduated from Princeton in 1955 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Following graduation, he entered the Navy where he served as a Lieutenant Junior Grade in the Navy Supply Corps stationed at Clarksville Base in Tennessee.
Following two years in the Navy, Paul graduated from Stanford Business School in 1959 and took a job in San Francisco with Minneapolis Honeywell. While living in San Francisco, Paul met Marcia Reed and the two were married in 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii. They spent several years in San Francisco before moving to Fullerton, California where Paul took a job with Beckman Instruments. While in Fullerton, their first child Jennifer was born in 1964.
That same year Paul was offered the opportunity to start a venture capital firm in Palo Alto, California. Sutter Hill Ventures would become one of Silicon Valley's first venture capital firms. Their second child, Paul Jr. was born in 1967 and their third child Linda was born in 1970.
Paul spent the next 48 years in venture capital with Sutter Hill Ventures, leading investments in a number of companies, including Tellabs, Xidex, Linear Technology, Qume and AmeriGroup. In addition to his venture capital work, Paul served on the Board of Trustees at Princeton University for 14 years, culminating as Vice-Chairman of the Board. Paul won the National Venture Capital Association's Lifetime Achievement Award, the U.S. Naval Supply Corps Distinguished Alumnus Award and accepted the Dow Jones Equity Hall of Fame Award given to Sutter Hill as the Outstanding Venture Capital Firm for 2006. He was president and director of the Western Association of Venture Capitalists, spent 12 years as an Overseer Board member of the Hoover Institution at Stanford and a 22-year board member of the T. Rowe Price Mutual Fund Complex in Baltimore, Maryland. Paul was also a board member of the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.
In his spare time, Paul was an avid baseball fan and served as a minority owner of the San Francisco Giants baseball organization. He enjoyed playing golf and spent his retirement traveling the world with Marcia.
Paul is survived by his wife, his three children, daughter-in-law Mai Mai Wythes, son-in-law John Knoll, and eight grandchildren, Maggie, Reed and Whit Vettel, Alexandra and Thomas Wythes and Henry, Charlie and Ellie Knoll.
A memorial service will be held at The Menlo Park Presbyterian Church on November 13, 2012 at 3pm. Donations may be made to Eastside College Preparatory School, 1041 Myrtle Street, East Palo Alto, CA 94303.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle from Nov. 5 to Nov. 11, 2012.