John Hobart, early Vail investor, 1921-2008 |

John Hobart, early Vail investor, 1921-2008

Vail, CO Colorado

John Hastings Hobart, an early investor in Vail Associates, passed away peacefully Feb. 13 in Lake Forest, Ill. He was 86.

Mr. Hobart was preceded in death in 2006 by his loving wife Mary of 62 years, and earlier by his eldest son Ralph, and his grandson Benjamin.

Born on Nov. 25, 1921 in Winnetka, Ill., BJ (as he was fondly called by his family and friends) attended North Shore Country Day, The Hill School (’39), and Yale University (’43). He was commissioned in the U.S. Army in July 1943, and married the former Mary Ballard, also of Winnetka, on Aug. 5, 1943. After the war, they built their home in Northfield, where they raised their family.

In 1957, Mr. Hobart co-founded La Salle Street Press in Chicago, which later became Bowne of Chicago. He served on the board of directors of Bowne for more than 20 years before his retirement in 1995. He served on the board of directors of Lake Shore National Bank for many years.

Mr. Hobart was an original investor in Vail Associates, and he and his wife built one of the first homes in Vail in 1963. Vail Valley Medical Center benefitted from their generosity over the years.

A lifelong Cubs fan, outdoorsman (hunting, fishing, skiing) and especially an avid golfer and golf historian, BJ loved to travel and plan trips around the country and the world with his growing family, and diverse group of friends. The British Open in Scotland was a recurring highlight of his golf, travel and family passion, and he spoke longingly of family times in the old sod.

A more generous and happy family man and friend could hardly be found.

BJ leaves a loving family, survived by his remaining children, Mimi Petke (Jon), Jay Hobart (Clare), Ginger Hobart (Rob Campbell), and Bud Hobart; grandchildren Robin Hobart (Susan), Holly Hobart, Jonathan Petke (Kelly), Sam Petke (Susanne), Adam Petke, Jim Hobart, Mimi Hobart, John H. Hobart III, Liza Campbell, Haley Campbell, Shelby Campbell, and Erik Hobart; fgreat-grandchildren Haven Hobart, Gage Hobart, Hannah Petke and Nathan Petke.

A memorial service was held Saturday in Winnetka, Ill.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Hadley School for the Blind, 700 Elm St., Winnetka, IL 60093 or Christ Church Winnetka, or Ducks Unlimited, One Waterfowl Way, Memphis, TN 38120.

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