John R. "Jack" Hershey Jr., who had an active role in the area's business, civic and philanthropic life, died Wednesday, June 27, 2012, at Meritus Medical Center, surrounded by members of his family.
Born July 9, 1925, Jack was the son of J. Raymond Hershey Sr., and Sally Jeanette Hershey.
Jack attended Lehigh University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration and graduated in three years. Jack served in the U.S. Air Force in Italy in World War II, and later became a lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force Reserve. Jack was employed by Siegal, Berg and Co., CPA, in Allentown, Pa., while matriculating at Lehigh.
Upon graduation, he accepted an offer from E.I. DuPont de Nemours, and he and wife Anna resided in Wilmington, Del., for two years. He entered the investment industry in 1951 with Cohu and Co. In 1955, he joined Walston & Co., and, in 1960, he joined Winslow, Cohu & Stetson as a vice president. In 1969, he affiliated with Ferris & Co., as a senior vice president, regional officer, and later became a member of the board of directors. Ferris later acquired the prominent Baltimore-based firm of Baker, Watts.
He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Anna Leiter Hershey; three daughters, Karen Anne Spessard of Hagerstown, Lynne Hershey Rieden of Herndon, Va., Cheryl Leiter Hershey and husband, Wiley S. Rutledge, of Point of Rocks, Md.; and one son; John R. Hershey III of Hagerstown, Md. He is also survived by two grandsons, Gerry Wayne Spessard and John Holden Hershey; and four granddaughters, Julie Spessard Ebersole and husband, Daniel P. Ebersole, Laura Hershey Spessard, Jennifer Lynne Rieden and London Nicole Hershey.
He was predeceased by one brother, Richard K. Hershey.
Jack was a member of the Tower Society at Lehigh, and a member of Phi Delta Theta national fraternity.
He initiated efforts that resulted in legislation authorizing a left turn on a red light in Maryland, and was standing behind the governor when he signed the bill into law.
He was elected for a three-year term on the executive committee of the Securities Industry Association, Mid-Atlantic District, at their annual meeting at the Homestead in Hot Springs, Va. The SIA is a major trade organization representing more than 550 brokerage and investment banking firms in North America. The Mid-Atlantic District covers North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and Washington, D.C.
Mr. Hershey participated with the Rotary Exchange Fellowship program, during which time his son, John, enjoyed a guest from France.
Jack R. Hershey Jr. was The Herald-Mail Person of the Year in 2005.
Mr. Hershey was active in bank acquisitions. He recommended more than 50 banks that were eventually taken over by larger banks.
RESEARCH, a national financial industry publication located in San Francisco, Calif., commented in an April 1997 issue on Mr. Hershey's industry knowledge: "Jack is the bank stock guy. Jack has sniffed out 28 bank takeovers."
Hershey has been quoted in The Baltimore Sun, Washington Post and Maryland Business Record, as well as The Herald-Mail and the Frederick News Post. In an article from the Wall Street Transcript, a national publication, Mr. Hershey participated in a several-page discussion regarding many banks and future investment opportunities.
A national financial industry publication titled Registered Representative published a lengthy article about Mr. Hershey and banks.
He was the chairman of the shareholders advisory committee of the Bank of Baltimore.
In cooperation with the school system, he stimulated student interest in "The Stock Market Game" through a simulated economic game.
In 1951, when Mr. Hershey became a broker, the Dow Jones industrial average was 269. It now stands at 12,515.
He and his wife were co-chair of a flamboyant costume ball attracting more than 5,000 people in the Valley Mall. An event which included three nationally known bands as Washington County celebrated its 200th anniversary (bi-centennial).
John R. Hershey Jr.
JULY 9, 1925-JUNE 27, 2012
John R. Hershey Jr. (Submitted photo / June 28, 2012)