Andrew Harvey sadly passed away this spring. He was a highly influential, gentlemanly member of the funeral profession who will be missed by all who knew him.
Following his degree at Glasgow University, Andrew began a career as a chartered accountant. His wit, courtesy and understanding attracted a broad range of clients, particularly in showbiz and the media. A talented and successful entrepreneur, he had a range of business interests that included Lismor Records, music publishing and telecommunications.
Whatever Andrew set his mind to, he achieved. He qualified as a pilot, diver and coastal sailing skipper, and became an expert Harley Davidson rider while gaining vocational qualifications as a CA, Dip FD and BIE.
Andrew’s family business, Jonathan Harvey Funeral Directors, was established in 1911. The third generation of his family to enter the profession, Andrew grew the business to make it the largest independent family funeral company in Glasgow. In 1989 he was instrumental in founding the National Society of Allied & Independent Funeral Directors and served two terms as National President.
1989 was a milestone year. Together with his old school and university friend and fellow CA, Gordon Kee, Andrew founded Golden Charter, providing the independent sector with a pre-paid funeral plan to compete with the Co-op, Dignity and Great Southern Group. Golden Charter is now the largest funeral plan provider in the UK and, as Andrew and Gordon intended, wholly owned by the independent funeral directors it serves.
In 2001 Andrew arrived at a unique solution to the perennial problem of unclaimed ashes. He attracted national media coverage by committing 35 sets of unclaimed ashes to the River Clyde in a multi-denominational service on the river.
Gordon Kee’s untimely death from oesophageal cancer in 2002 was a great blow to Andrew and it encouraged him to review his own health problems. After much soul searching, following a quadruple heart bypass and subsequent battle with MRSA, he sold Jonathan Harvey in 2003.
Having spent much of his childhood on Islay, Andrew was always drawn back to the island he loved. His home on Distillery Road had an open door policy for friends and relatives which inevitably involved guitars and a dram, a feature of all his homes over the years. Andrew and his wife Linda became an integral part of the Islay community and, never to sit idly back, they kept busy with holiday lets for two beach cottages.
Andrew passed quietly while on holiday in Spain, sitting in the sun by the pool, with Linda, his dogs and a dram close to hand.
Andrew will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him, especially his wife Linda, daughters Ainsley, Ashley, Andrea, from his marriage to Ailsa, sister Rosemary, cousin David and his extended family of cousins, nieces, nephews and grandchildren.
Passed peacefully, Javea, Spain 26th March 2015 aged 67.