John Sargent Pillsbury
Pillsbury John Sargent, Jr., age 92, of Wayzata, MN died on March 28, 2005. Born in Minneapolis on October 28, 1912, he was the son of John Sargent Pillsbury and Eleanor Lawler Pillsbury. He attended Blake School and graduated from St. Paul's School in Concord, NH. He was a graduate of Yale College and the University of Minnesota Law School, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review. Following his military service as a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy during World War II, he practiced law as a partner of Faegre & Benson until 1956. From 1956 until his retirement in 1977, he was the Chief Executive Officer of Northwestern National Life Insurance Company (now ING-ReliaStar). Under his leadership, the company built a landmark headquarters building designed by the world-renowned architect, Minoru Yamasaki, which anchored the redevelopment of the Gateway area of downtown Minneapolis. He was very active nationally in life insurance industry affairs, serving as Chairman of the two principal industry organizations, the Institute of Life Insurance and the Life Insurance Association of America (now combined as the American Council of Life Insurers). He also served as a director of The Pillsbury Company, Northwestern National Bank, Northwestern Bancorporation, Boise Cascade Corporation, Northwestern Bell Telephone Company and Wells Fargo Mortgage and Equity Trust. Very active in community and civic affairs, he was a Founding Director of Twin Cities Public Television, Chairman of the Community Chest Drive (the predecessor of the United Way) and a Trustee of the University of Minnesota Foundation and the Dunwoody Institute. As Chairman of the Board of the Minnesota Orchestra, he was instrumental in the planning and construction of Orchestra Hall in downtown Minneapolis. He was also very involved in Yale University alumni affairs. An avid and enthusiastic sportsman, he enjoyed skiing, golf and particularly sailing. A five-time winner of the Class A Scow championship of the Inland Lake Yachting Association (ILYA), he also served as Commodore of the ILYA and was elected to the ILYA Hall of Fame in 2004. His involvement with his community, his business and the many organizations with which he was associated was only exceeded by his deep commitment and loyalty to his family and his friends. Always cheerful and welcoming, good-humored and appreciative, he thrived on the company of others, and they in turn admired and respected him and returned the great affection he showed for them. He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Katharine Clark Pillsbury; his sons, John S. Pillsbury, III of Telluride, CO., Donaldson C. Pillsbury of New York City and Dr. L. Harrison Pillsbury of Washington, DC; his daughter, Katharine P. Jose, of Chestnut Hill, MA.; his sister, Ella P. Crosby, of Wayzata, MN; his brother, George S. Pillsbury, of Wayzata, MN; 14 grandchildren; and 8 great-grandchildren. A service celebrating his life will be held at the Wayzata Community Church on April 19, 2005 at 3:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his memory to the Minnesota Orchestra or Twin Cities Public Television.
Published on March 30, 2005