Jerry Clothier, longtime Phillies executive, dies at the age of 66

Jerry Clothier, Senior Vice President, Business and Finance, for the Phillies died at the age of 66 on Saturday, November 26.   He was surrounded by his loving family following a courageous encounter with prostate cancer.

Born in Claymont, DE, on October 1, 1945, Mr. Clothier grew up in Swarthmore, PA. He graduated from Swarthmore High School in 1963 and the University of Delaware in 1967, receiving a BA degree in accounting. After college he joined Price Waterhouse before serving three years in the U.S. Navy as a supply officer. He later attended the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, receiving his MBA in finance in 1973. 

A resident of the East Falls section of Philadelphia in the 1970s, Mr. Clothier transferred to Dallas, TX, in 1981 where he worked for Price Waterhouse in their management consulting practice and was admitted to the firm’s partnership.  He returned to Philadelphia in February of 1982 when he accepted the position as Vice President of Finance for the Phillies, his beloved team.

During his extraordinary Phillies career, Mr. Clothier served as a trustee for the Pension Committee of the Major League Baseball Players Benefit Plan.  He was also a member of Major League Baseball’s Non-Uniformed Personnel Pension Plan Committee. In addition, he served on the initial task force for Major League Baseball’s captive insurance entity.

As a board member of Phillies Charities, Inc., he served an instrumental role in financial matters for the team’s charitable affiliate.

Mr. Clothier was also active in the community serving as a trustee for the Free Library of Philadelphia.  From 1996-2000, he was on the Board of the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority, an appointment by Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell.  He also was a member of the University of Delaware Visiting Committee on Athletics.

In September 2011, Mr. Clothier was honored with the Richie Ashburn Special Achievement Award which is given annually to a member of the Phillies organization who has demonstrated loyalty, dedication and passion for the game. 

To many Phillies employees, Mr. Clothier was more than an executive.  He served as a mentor, teacher, friend, big brother and fatherly figure.  He was respected by everyone.

“For the past 30 years, Jerry made an enormous contribution to the Phillies and the game of baseball.  His engaging personality endeared him to all who knew him.  He was more than a colleague, he was a dear friend to all of us,” said David Montgomery, Phillies President and CEO.

“Jerry was someone I truly loved, as did many others.  He was very talented, funny, courageous, caring and a fantastic family man.  I’m filled with wonderful memories of a very special person, memories that will be with me forever,” according to Bill Giles, Phillies Chairman.

Jimmy and Johari Rollins issued the following statement: “We are grateful for our friendship with Jerry and the Clothier family and the key role they played in our future lives together.”   It was through the Clothier family that Johari first became associated with the Phillies. 

“All of us at Major League Baseball are deeply saddened by the loss of Jerry Clothier, an outstanding executive who served the Phillies with excellence since 1982.  Jerry contributed greatly to this golden era of Phillies baseball that continues at Citizens Bank Park, but his skills benefited our industry as a whole in a number of ways.  Jerry was a committee member on the Players Pension Plan for decades and served as a trustee on Major League Baseball’s Non-Uniformed Personal Pension Plan Committee for more than 10 years. He generously shared his expertise on a number of other committees including revenue sharing and sound financial practices.  On behalf of Major League Baseball and the Clubs throughout our game, I extend my deepest condolences to Jerry’s wife, Sherry, their daughters, Amy and Kelly, and their grandchildren,” said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig.

Mr. Clothier is survived by his wife of 43 years, Sherry Riggs Clothier; daughter Amy and her husband Julien Gaudion; daughter Kelly and her husband Dante Weston; and five grandchildren -- Nora, Peter, James and Henry Gaudion and Vance Weston.  He is also survived by his brother Robert B. Clothier Jr. and his wife Nancy.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, November 29, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 22 E. Chestnut Hill Avenue, Chestnut Hill, PA, 19118.

Donations may be sent to Phillies Charities, Inc., One Citizens Bank Way, Philadelphia, PA 19148 and/or the Free Library of Philadelphia, Development Office, 1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103.

Funeral services are being handled by Craft Funeral Home, 814 Bethlehem Pike, Erdenheim, PA.