WWII Navy gunner decorated for bravery, leading marketing executive in consumer electronics field, Summit H.S. All State half-back in 1940s
Edward P. Reavey, Jr. of Camden, S.C., devoted husband, father and great grandfather passed away on Saturday, August 30, 2014. Edward was born in Summit, New Jersey on Nov. 9, 1923 and is survived by his wife of 51 years, Judith (Roberts) Reavey. He was a devoted Christian.
He grew up in Summit and attended Summit High. He was a great athlete and became an All State football player (right half-back); and scored an enormous number of touchdowns for Summit High. He graduated in 1942 and attended Colgate University, where he was added to the Varsity team as a freshman (number 13).
Ed left Colgate in 1943 to join the U.S. Navy and was trained as an Aviation Machinist’s Mate Third Class and assigned to the Pacific theatre of war. In additional to Machinist’s Mate, he was assigned to be a rear gunner on a Navy medium bomber. He served with the 7th Fleet, under Admiral Kinkaid and Admiral D.E. Barbey, in the bombing squadron 130, in the Philippines and Borneo.
His plane was fired upon by the Japanese, one engine was put out of commission forcing the Navy crew to crash dive. Reavey spent eight hours adrift off the Philippine Islands, with a crew of five in a rubber boat and finally went ashore on an island held by the enemy and was finally picked up by a Navy plane. He is a member of the Sea Squatter’s Club
He was awarded the Gold Star in place of a third Air Medal in a special ceremony and parade in his honor at Trinity College. The citation was for “meritorious achievement in aerial flight as Tunnel Gunner of a Patrol Plane in Patrol Bombing Squadron 130, in action against enemy Japanese forces in the South Pacific War Area from January 1-16, 1945. Participating in five missions during this period, Reavey rendered valuable assistance to his pilot in the infliction of damage on the enemy. His courage and devotion to duty in the face of hostile antiaircraft fire were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. (for the president) (signed) James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy”
When released from the Navy, Ed attended Princeton University, Trinity College and graduated from Yale University in the class of 1948.
After the Navy, he worked with his father as a salesman covering New York City for the Sheaffer Pen Company, distinguishing himself again as he was promoted to New York Sales manager, Midwest Sales Manager and Marketing Director of the company, located in Ft. Madison, Iowa.
Ed then was hired by Scoville Corporation to be the Marking Vice President of the Hamilton Beach division in Racine, Wisconsin. He narrowed the product lines and brought out an electric knife naming it “The Knife with a Hole in the Handle” for easier carving. It sold so well, he had to limit sales on allocation over the first Christmas it was available. He increased profits and sales at the company.
Motorola hired Ed in 1967 and he was promoted to President of the Consumer Products Division for his work, bringing out the first solid state television which he names “Quasar”. The success of this product and others like it took Motorola from 20th to 3rd in sales in one year, making them into a distinguished company in the field. He received “The Marketing Man of the Year award’’and was featured in Business Week, Forbes and other business magazines.
In the 1970’s Ed started his own marketing consulting company and served such clients as AT&T, as they went public; GTE, Texas Instruments and another electronic consumer product companies.
He was the author, along with his wife, of a book called “The Driving Force” in 2003, teaching companies how to focus on the central overall idea of their company and products to establish more profit through better marketing and product development.
Chronicle-Independent, Camden, S.C.
October 13, 2014