Norborne Berkeley Jr., a bank president and veteran of the Normandy invasion of World War II, died at home in East Hampton last Thursday following a two-month illness with congestive heart failure. He was 89.
Mr. Berkeley, who was known as Bunny, was a former president of Chemical Bank and had a residence in Manhattan as well. He was born in Bethlehem, Pa., on June 5, 1922, the only son of Norborne and Dorothea Randolph Berkeley. A sister, Dorothea Berkeley Brush, died in 1991.
He was president of Chemical Bank and Chemical NY Corp., now known as JPMorgan Chase, from 1973 to 1982 and was a director of both entities since 1972. He was with the company from 1950 to 1982, when he retired as chairman of the executive committee at age 60.
Mr. Berkeley graduated from the Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Va., in 1941 and was a member of Yale University’s class of 1945. At Yale, he was a member of the senior society Scroll and Key. He earned a law degree from the University of Virginia in 1949 and completed the advanced management program at Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration in 1966.
During World War II, he served in Europe with the United States Field Artillery, First Army V Corps and participated in five major campaigns including the Normandy invasion.
Mr. Berkeley served on many corporate, educational, and charitable boards during his life, including those of Freeport McMoran Inc., Uniroyal Inc., Anglo Energy LTD, Tuskegee University, the Metropolitan Opera, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, and the Vera Institute of Justice. He was appointed by President Gerald Ford to serve on the U.S. Advisory Committee for Trade Negotiations and continued to do so under President Jimmy Carter.
An accomplished sportsman, Mr. Berkeley played baseball at Yale and also enjoyed squash, skiing, and golf throughout his life. He liked playing his father’s ukulele and singing old family songs, and enjoyed New York cultural offerings, especially the theater, and world travel. His life was marked by his sense of humor, value system, and compassion, according to his family.
Mr. Berkeley’s family began visiting East Hampton for the summer in the 1940s and had a house in the Georgica Association. He began spending most of his time here with his wife in the mid-1990s when not traveling to their favorite spots in London and Barbados. He was a member and former director of the board of the National Golf Links of America in Southampton, and was a member of the Maidstone Club in East Hampton, where he was the men’s golf champion in 1956. He was forced by arthritis to quit the game a few years ago and said, according to his family, “Thank God, I don’t have to worry anymore about all those putts I missed.”
Mr. Berkeley is survived by his wife of 21 years, Jennifer Puchta Berkeley, and his children from a former marriage to Diane Gould Berkeley: Sally Berkeley Tiller of Raleigh, N.C., Dr. Anne Randolph Berkeley of Wilmington, N.C., and Norborne Berkeley III, known as Bill, of New York City. Three grandchildren also survive him.
A celebration of his life will be held on Jan. 21 at 11 a.m. at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in East Hampton. In lieu of flowers, his family has suggested donations in Mr. Berkeley’s memory to a charity of choice.