John "Jack" Hickey was in school when he began his career with Galvin Manufacturing Corp., which became Motorola.
Mr. Hickey, who retired in 1986 as executive vice president and chief financial officer but continued another 10 years as a director, was a key player in the company's success in the burgeoning transistor and consumer electronics industries, said Chris Galvin, grandson of company founder Paul Galvin.
"Jack was a very significant contributor to the company because of his intellect and his ability to peel apart problems financially and think strategically to make sure the company was financed conservatively," Chris Galvin said.
"He was instrumental in Motorola's growth, in particular in my father's era of being CEO," said Galvin, whose late father, Robert, was CEO from 1959 to 1986.
Mr. Hickey, 88, died of congestive heart failure Saturday, June 7, in Vi at the Glen in Glenview, according to his daughter, Kathy Barrie. He moved to Glenview about 10 years ago after living for more than 40 years in Glencoe.
He grew up in Winnetka and attended Loyola Academy, now in Wilmette. He went on to Loyola University in Chicago but interrupted his studies for Army service during World War II.
He had worked part time as a lab assistant for Galvin and with that experience became the radio operator for his unit, which his family said saw action in the Battle of the Bulge and at the Ludendorff Bridge, better known as the Bridge at Remagen.
He remained in Europe during part of the occupation but soon returned to working at Motorola and to Loyola University, where he finished his studies at night with the help of the GI Bill.
Mr. Hickey had family ties to the Galvins through his father, who was an investment banker.
"Jack's father and my grandfather were very good friends and business associates. Jack's father orchestrated and helped Motorola go public," said Chris Galvin, who was the company's chairman and CEO from 1997 to 2003.
Kathy Barrie said her father's work extended from long-range planning to overseeing company finances and philanthropy. He was a member of Motorola's board of directors from 1974 until 1996.
In the early 1950s as general manager of the company's emerging semiconductor business, he had a hand in building the first Motorola plant in Arizona.
Back at headquarters, he often checked out the company's latest technology, bringing home the newest products from color televisions and video recorders to mobile phones. "From the earliest cellphones to the Iridium satellite phones," Barrie said.
Mr. Hickey credited his education for his ability to stay up with developing technology. He established a scholarship endowment at Loyola Academy, and his work on behalf of the Academy was recognized with several awards, Barrie said.
Barrie said her father had an ability to sense when and where he was needed.
"There was no baloney with Dad," she said. "He'd fix his gaze on you and connect with you."
Other survivors include his wife of 64 years, Joanne; sons John, Mike, Jim and Roger; a sister, Suzanne Howell; a brother, Jerome; 20 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
Services were held.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun