"The Admiral" Sets Sail to Make Final Voyage
The service concluded with a rendition of "When the Saints Come Marching In" played by two local high school marching bands, followed by bagpipers playing "Amazing Grace" as his body was carried from the church by family members serving as pall bearers. A reception followed immediately in the Quadracci Pavilion at the Milwaukee Art Museum, which was built with a $10 million gift from Harry and his wife Betty.
The day brought closure to Harry's illustrious professional career, his dedication to family values and his deeds as a philanthropist. It was a far cry from the early days of his career. By taking a second mortgage on their home, Quadracci, with his wife, founded Pewaukee, WI-based Quad/Graphics in 1971 with just 11 employees, a leased press and a borrowed binder. Now, 31 years later and with annual sales of $1.8 billion, Quad/Graphics is the largest privately owned printing company in North America, with 12,000 employees working from 35 facilities, including international partnerships in Argentina, Brazil and Poland.
The funeral program featured an appropriately titled poem, The Admiral, written by John Breska, a pressman at Quad's Saratoga Springs, NY plant. It read:
Where goes the Admiral this day
without his gallant crew
perhaps to chart the only way
beyond the heaven's blue
we'll miss his song
we'll miss the man
our lives forever changed
but dreams belong in dreams,
and so it's been arranged
that each of us will follow true
the wake he's left behind
we'll meet again, both ship and crew
and Admiral we will find.
If, like in England, the U.S. printing industry had a "royal family," the Quadracci clan would surely get my vote for being the graphic arts industry's "first family." Without a doubt, the Admiral, now on his final voyage, will go down in history as the most revered printer of our modern-day era. The unique printing empire he built is his greatest legacy, something that will never be duplicated.