Attitude and temperament were as important as skill and savvy in Robert Healy’s long, successful career in the financial services industry.
After starting out as a financial analyst at IDS (now Ameriprise Financial), he worked his way up to head of research, then senior equity portfolio manager and finally vice president.
“He was very good at his profession,” said his daughter Sheila Healy Berube, of Edina. “But he didn’t take himself seriously. He did not sweat anything.”
She said he also mastered another important skill.
“He had the ability to completely separate his work from his personal life,” she said. “He didn’t bring his work home. Maybe it was a different time back then — no cellphones, computers, e-mail. It seems it is harder to separate those things today. But he lived in the moment. He was a great role model.”
Healy, a longtime Minneapolis resident, died July 12 at his home in Bloomington. He was 84.
In addition to his successful business career, Healy and his family are credited with inventing a Frisbee game called “Guts” and starting the International Frisbee Tournament.
“The whole thing kind of started as a lark,” said his daughter. Healy’s family had an annual gathering in the summer in Eagle River, on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. In 1958, he and his brothers started playing the game, then introduced an annual “invitational” tournament.
“Over time the tournament got bigger,” Healy Berube said. “It was always just something fun for my dad and his brothers. He started getting calls from people who were writing about the tournament and he asked, ‘Why are they taking this so seriously?’ ”
The tournament is still held today. In 1982, Healy was inducted into the Frisbee Hall of Fame.
“He didn’t want a reward or plaque or anything,” said his daughter. “It wasn’t about recognition for him.”
Healy was born to John and Katherine Healy on Dec. 11, 1935, in Houghton, Mich.
After graduating from Houghton High School, Healy completed a degree at what is now the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. He then served two years in the Army, stationed in Germany.
After his service, he returned to Minnesota and went to work for IDS.
Healy earned an MBA from the University of Minnesota. He also earned a chartered financial analyst (CFA) designation and became a member of the Twin Cities Society of Security Analysts (now called the CFA Society of Minnesota).
Healy and his wife, Colleen, who met on a blind date when he was a student at St. Thomas, enjoyed biking, hiking and travel. They once hiked across England.
“There is a path that runs across the northern part of England,” said his daughter. “They were intrigued by the opportunity. They would backpack and stop in villages. It appealed to them. It’s how they traveled. They would fly to Europe without any real plans and just rent bikes and travel around. They would find a hostel. They just needed a shelter, something clean and dry.”
Colleen Healy died in 2017. The couple was married 59 years.
In addition to Sheila, Healy is survived by three other daughters, Katherine Healy Kahlow of Minneapolis, Mary Healy of Edina and Ann Marie Healy of New York City; a sister Mary Mentink of Northfield, Minn.; a brother, Mike Healy of Hailey, Idaho, and six grandchildren. He was preceded in death by daughter Elizabeth in 1980.
Services have been held.