John Jachym

He was born May 9, 1918, in Youngstown, Ohio, the son of George and Amelia Jachym. A South Dayton resident since 1930, he was a 1935 graduate of South Dayton High School and earned a bachelor's of journalism degree in 1940 from the University of Missouri.

He had been employed as a reporter by the Jefferson County, Mo., Observer and the Dunkirk Observer and concurrently scouted for the St. Louis Cardinals baseball organization. He was a veteran of World War II, serving in the U.S. Marines Corps with the first marine division, earning the rank of captain. He served in New Guinea, New Britain and Guadalcanal, where in 1942 he led a successful offensive against Japan and earned the Silver Star.

He served as president of Jamestown Safety Guard and Chautauqua Enterprises in Jamestown. He owned the Jamestown Falcons professional baseball team of the PONY League, which he sold to the Detroit Tigers, and later became assistant farm director for the Tigers organization. He served as an adviser or principal in the sale of the Washington Redskins, Washington Senators, Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Yankees, Milwaukee Braves, Chicago Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, Baltimore Colts, Montreal Canadiens and the Chicago Bulls. In 1949, he purchased 40 percent of the Washington Senators baseball team, becoming the organization's largest stockholder, selling his shares in 1950.

Becoming involved in investment banking in 1953, he became a pioneer in mergers and acquisitions. He was involved in the largest business transaction in Chicago at that time, which later became a case study at both Harvard Business School and the University of Virginia's Darden Graduate School of Business Administration. He served as head of corporate finance for Blunt, Ellis and Co. of Chicago, served as vice president of A.G. Becker and Co. and as senior partner at John J. Jachym and Co. In 1974, he became chairman of the board and CEO for Kratos Inc. in San Diego, an international high technology and instrumentation company, retiring in 1980.

In 1980, he was named chairman of business and industry by the Reagan-Bush presidential campaign. He later declined an appointment to the White House staff as assistant secretary of commerce. Along with his wife, he created the Amelia G. Jachym Scholarship for Pine Valley High School in South Dayton.

Involved with the PGA for more than 37 years, he became PGA advisory committee chairman and committee member and served as an independent director of the PGA from 1990 to 1992. He was founder and trustee of the National PGA of Junior Golf and the former chairman of the board of the National Golf Foundation and served as an official American observer at many of the 18 Ryder Cup events he attended. In 1994, the PGA of America bestowed its highest honor upon him as he was elected to an honorary lifetime membership, making him the sixth person ever awarded this honor. Serving as a special adviser to the PGA at the time of death, he was an honorary member of three PGA sections: Southern California, Illinois and Western New York. He also served on numerous national corporation boards and maintained ties to Western New York business.

His personal philosophy was borrowed from an unknown Canadian ice hockey announcer, ''Fame is a vapor, popularity is an accident and money takes wings. ... the only thing that endures is character.'' He was celebrated for being a man of his word. Throughout his business career, he was proud of the fact that he never required use of written documents. His business was always done with a handshake. He will always be remembered for never forgetting anyone who helped him in life.

He is survived by his wife, Audrey Gleichman Jachym, whom he married Sept. 30, 1944; a son, James G. Jachym of Naples, Fla.; two daughters: Jacqueline Fitzpatrick of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., and Janet Calhoun of Dunwoody, Ga.; five grandchildren: Jeremy Jachym of Sebastopol, Calif., Bradley Fitzpatrick of San Francisco, Jason and Joshua Seabolt, both of Atlanta, and Aimee Fitzpatrick of New York City.

Interment will be in Arlington National Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to the Amelia G. Jachym Scholarship Fund, c/o Charles Hall, P.O. Box 3236, Jamestown, N.Y., 14701; Hospice of the Piedmont, 501 Park St., Charlottesville, Va., 22903; or Charlottesville Albermarle Rescue Squad.


The additional financial assistance of the community is critical to the success of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame. We gratefully acknowledge these individuals and organizations for their generous support.

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