Long-time paint business owner Robert A. Haley dies at 94


Robert A. Haley, 94, the former co-owner and longtime chairman of Conshohocken-based paint company Finnaren & Haley, died Thursday, December 23, at his home in Dunwoody Village in Newtown Square.

Mr Haley had spent the last month in hospice care after being hospitalized in November with internal bleeding. The official cause of death has not been confirmed.

Mr. Haley and his older brother, Daniel J. Haley Jr., took control of the company in 1958 after the death of their father and company co-founder, Daniel J. Haley. Mr. Haley, who had worked as a storekeeper for his father, and his brother helped grow the business at one point from five local retail stores to 35 in Pennsylvania, southern Jersey and Delaware. . They achieved full ownership in the 1970s.

In 1973, Mr. Haley told The Inquirer that specialization and personal attention to customers separated Finnaren & Haley from its competitors. He said the company then had 33 stores, with 35 franchised dealers, and had annual sales of $ 6 million.

“Our employees go through a six-week training course with time devoted to marketing, accounting, lab, warehousing and sales so they can speak intelligently with buyers,” he said.

That year, as the 1976 U.S. Bicentennial loomed, the company used a renewed popularity of classic historic Philadelphia colors, as authenticated by the National Park Service, to offer its customers shades of red Congress Hall, gold Rittenhouse, ivory paving and feather from Independence Hall. .

Finnaren & Haley was formed in June 1913 when Mr. Haley’s father and Joseph A. Finnaren left the Gillingham paint store on Passayunk Avenue in South Philadelphia to start their own business. In 1983, Mr Haley told The Inquirer that Article 5 of the original partnership agreement read: “Both partners are to refrain from consuming intoxicating beverages during the term of this agreement. “

When asked if the section was enforced, Mr. Haley replied, “Are you kidding? They both drank Irish. When they closed the store every night, Mr. Finnaren always stopped by the Haley house in Overbrook for a few drinks. And Mr. Haley always joined him. With regard to clause 5, it was a very flawed partnership.

Benjamin Moore and Co. acquired most of Finnaren & Haley in 2007, and Mr. Haley’s son Robert A. Haley Jr. now owns Lancaster-based Haley Paint.

Born March 18, 1927 in Philadelphia, Mr. Haley grew up in Wynnewood and graduated from St. Joseph’s Preparatory School and Villanova University. He entered the US Merchant Marine Academy in 1945 and received a commission in 1947 as a junior officer in the Naval Reserve.

He married Pat Carville, whom he had met at a high school party, in 1951, and they raised four daughters and a son in Wynnewood, then in Bryn Mawr. She died in 2019.

Outside of work, Mr. Haley was chairman of the board of directors of what was St. Mary’s Hospital, now St. Mary’s Medical Center in Langhorne, and St. Joseph’s Prep. He worked for what has become the nonprofit Catholic Charities Appeal and won the Charles E. Barton Ignatian Service Award for his “exceptional dedication” to St. Joseph’s Prep.

He volunteered at Meals on Wheels and was a member of the Philadelphia Country Club and the Mariner Sands Country Club in Stuart, Florida.

Mr. Haley loved golf, shot often in the ’70s and played twice a week for years, often taking his clients out of the painting business for a round or two. He took his family by boat to the Jersey Shore and crammed the kids into their station wagon for noisy trips to the ice cream parlor.

When a friend and neighbor died, Mr. Haley regularly invited his six children on numerous family excursions. “He was an organizer, a sociable person,” said his daughter Kathy. “He was the patriarch of our family in the best sense of the word.

“And he always told us that no matter what, you can always come home. We love you.”

In addition to his daughter and son, Mr. Haley is survived by his daughters Patty, Mary Clare and Susan; 13 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren and other parents. Her brother and sister died earlier.

Visitations are scheduled for 9 am on Friday March 4 at St. Anastasia’s Church, 3301 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square, Pa. 19073. A funeral mass is scheduled to follow at 10 am. Interment must be private.


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