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Jonathan Curedale Calvert

Obituary for Jonathan Curedale Calvert

April 25, 1930 - August 23, 2018
San Antonio, Texas | Age 88

... encouraged everyone to find his or her own adventure and to not be deterred by obstacles along the way ...


Jonathan Curedale Calvert of San Antonio, Texas, passed away peacefully at dawn surrounded by his family on August 23, 2018. A man who didn't miss many sunrises or sunsets, Jonathan was born April 25, 1930 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the third of four sons born to James Henry and Carolyn Rice Calvert. He attended the San Antonio Academy and Texas Military Institute and graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy ('49) and Princeton University ('53). It was at Princeton that Jonathan embarked on a lifelong love of history, particularly military history. His senior thesis on Mosby's Rangers was later used by the Naval War College as a manual on warfare.

Upon graduation from Princeton, Jonathan commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps. After serving as an instructor for the enlisted infantry school at Camp Pendleton, California, he deployed overseas to Japan and then Korea in 1954. Jonathan served as a Platoon Commander in Baker Company 1st Battalion, 5th Marines and was deployed to the DMZ in Korea. He was an accomplished marksman, ranking 3rd in the 1st Marine Division. Honorably discharged from active service in 1955 as a First Lieutenant, Jonathan remained in the reserves until August 1968 when he retired at the rank of Captain.

Jonathan entered the investment business and worked in New York and Chicago before returning to Texas. With his college roommate Richard "Dick" King, he founded the securities brokerage firm King, Nelson & Calvert in Corpus Christi. The firm was eventually bought by regional brokerage firm Rotan Mosle. As principal and manager of the firm's San Antonio branch, Jonathan served on the board of the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD).

In 1981, sensing the undercurrents of change in the brokerage industry, he left Rotan Mosle and partnered with Ed Glass and Edward Austin, Jr. to create Glass, Austin & Calvert, one of the first registered investment advisor firms formed in the region. Subsequently joined by Harry M. Flavin, Austin, Calvert & Flavin became one of the largest and most respected firms serving the investment needs of high net worth individuals, endowments and institutions in the southwestern United States. Shunning retirement, Jonathan continued managing investment portfolios until the day before he passed.

A devoted family man, Jonathan also maintained a close friendship with his first wife, Margaret Corning Boldrick, and had many good times with his cousins in Boston and England. He also treasured his time at the family ranch in South Texas. He loved his community and enjoyed serving on the boards of the McNay Art Museum and Saint Mary's Hall and marching with the Texas Cavaliers.

Above all, Jonathan was a self-described "adventurer." He spent fifty years exploring remote corners of the world. In 1967, at 37, he developed what would become a life-long passion for mountain climbing when he summited the Rifflehorn in Switzerland. A year later he returned to climb the nearby Matterhorn. He would go on to summit the highest peaks on six of the seven continents, including Mounts McKinley, Rainier, Aconcagua, Blanc, Kilimanjaro, and Mera. His final climb was the Greenland ice cap in 2007 at the age of 78. Although his climbing days were behind him, Jonathan continued to hike, sail, and kayak in Greenland and Antarctica. In 2000, he was a member of an expedition that made the first successful crossing of South Georgia, following the 1916 route of the famous Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. He enthusiastically shared many of his favorite climbs and trips with his daughters, grandchildren, and his beloved wife and equally fearless co-adventurer, Betty.

The conditions and challenges he braved along the way – frostbite, failed equipment, and close calls– are detailed along with his stunning photographs in a book about his adventures, The Urge to Know. He encouraged everyone to find his or her own adventure and to not be deterred by obstacles along the way. "Do not be afraid to fail," he wrote, "because if you are, you will be afraid to risk. And if you are afraid to risk, then you will miss out on some of life's greatest experiences."

In his later years, Jonathan continued to pursue his passion for military history by amassing comprehensive collections of books and memorabilia. Together with his grandchildren or his brother, Rich, he traveled to the battlefield sites of the Civil War and the first and second world wars. He treasured Wednesday lunches with his fellow adventurers, veterans and military history buffs.

Scholar, businessman, rancher, adventurer, Jonathan will be remembered for his fearlessness, quiet humor, and immeasurable strength of character. He describes himself in his book as "a relatively ordinary man who lived an extraordinarily full life." His account of his adventures will continue to inspire his family and friends to live life in the extraordinary way he did: deliberately, willfully, and with insatiable curiosity.

Jonathan is survived by his wife Elizabeth "Betty" Lawrence Calvert; his daughters: Blair Calvert Fitzsimons and her husband Joseph, Sarah Calvert Doerr and her husband Bill, Mollie Calvert Massari and her husband Greg, and stepson Edward Holmgreen and his wife Joan; two brothers: Richard W. Calvert and James S. Calvert; his grandchildren: Fay Fitzsimons Walker (Brevard), Jonathan Calvert Fitzsimons (Burkley), Katherine Burgwin Fitzsimons, William Spencer Doerr, Philip Massari, Margaret Massari, Lizzy Massari and Annie Massari. He was preceded in death by his brother David R. Calvert.

A celebration of Jonathan's life will be held at Christ Episcopal Church, 510 Belknap Place, at 11:00 am Monday, August 27th. Honorary pallbearers are Gene Ames, Edward Austin, Bill Barker, Richard Batz, Jim Berg, Kennedy Bures, Dick Creamer, Bart Cocke, Joseph Dittmar, Spencer Doerr, Baker Duncan, Jonny Fitzsimons, Harry Flavin, Jim Hayne, Herb Kelleher, John LeFlore, Duane "Shorty" Lankford, Olaf Malver, Jim O'Brien, Podie Pittman, Bob Spalten, David Straus, Pal Wenger, and Brian Weirum.

The family would like to thank Jonathan's friend and associate Alina Snapp and his devoted caregivers: Dr. Fernando Lopez, Dr. Edwin Whitney, Dr. Charles Andrews, and the staffs from Embrace Hospice and Above and Beyond. Jonathan's four-legged friends, Buck and Sue, were a constant source of joy. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the National Museum of the Pacific War (Fredericksburg, Tx), The McNay Art Museum, or Christ Episcopal Church.

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Suggested Memorial Donations

  • National Museum of the Pacific War (Fredericksburg, Tx), 340 E. Main St., Fredericksburg, Tx 78624
  • The McNay Art Museum, 6000 N. New Braunfels Ave., San Antonio, TX 78209
  • Or, Christ Episcopal Church, 510 Belknap Pl, San Antonio, TX 78212

Arrangements By

Porter Loring Mortuary

1101 McCullough Avenue
San Antonio, TX 78212
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