DENVER — John Harvey Reilly Jr. of Bryn Mawr, Pa., and Hobe Sound, Fla., died peacefully May 1 in Denver from pulmonary disease. He was 71 years old.

Until his death, Reilly was the chairman and CEO of Philadelphia-based United Refrigeration Inc. and affiliated companies.

Reilly was born in Teaneck, N.J., on March 26, 1941. He lived in the Philadelphia area for the majority of his life and attended Villanova University. He also worked from a very young age at United Refrigeration, which was founded by his parents, and ultimately led the company for 35 years.

John was a skillful businessman, savvy negotiator, engineer, inventor, and entrepreneur. A definite risk taker with pure perseverance, John never took the word no as an answer. At the same time, he displayed the trait of quiet confidence and was admired for his low-key generosity, silently helping others in all walks of life.

An adventurer at heart, John’s interests were diverse. He piloted his own planes, was an avid scuba diver, and a simple traveler of the world. But, above all interests, John’s truest love was the sea — he was a passionate mariner and could always be found doing his own captaining or sticking his head in the engines.

John is survived by his daughter, Elizabeth Reilly Brubaker (Michael); son, John Harvey Reilly III (Gillian); wife, Margaret Madden Reilly; four granddaughters, sisters Mary Reilly Dugery and Patricia Reilly; and many nieces and nephews.

A funeral mass was held Wednesday, May 9. Donations may be made in John’s name to National Jewish Health, 1400 Jackson St., A551, Denver, CO 80206, Attention: Gregory Cosgrove MD/The JHR Research Fund.

Publication date: 6/11/2012