Harvey Barnsley Kershaw Jr., who rose from teller to chairman during nearly half a century with Provident Bank, died of pneumonia Sunday at Greater Baltimore Medical Center. The Ruxton resident was 87.
As the bank's president, Mr. Kershaw made it a point to answer all his phone calls personally by announcing his name - without even a customary hello - as the line rang. He also believed that the bank's customers, whom he described as hard-working Baltimoreans, liked to have their savings noted in a passbook.
"He never forgot the effects of the Depression," said Mr. Kershaw's son, Robert Barnsley Kershaw, a Baltimore attorney.
Born in Baltimore and raised on Falls Road, Harvey Kershaw was a 1935 graduate of Polytechnic Institute. He attended the Johns Hopkins University's evening school while working as a teller for what was then Provident Savings Bank's branch office at North and Maryland avenues. He later did graduate study in banking at Brown University in Rhode Island.
Mr. Kershaw worked his entire professional life at Provident, advancing to become treasurer in 1960, president in 1970 and board chairman in 1974.
He attended annual information technology seminars at IBM's Endicott Center in the 1960s and was a principal proponent of the first computer-networked teller stations in Maryland at Provident. A 1978 Evening Sun story noted his role in developing a system that enabled customers to pay bills by phone without writing checks.
"His years at Poly made him aware of technology and he was interested in information technology that would advance banking services," his son said.
During his tenure as chief executive, Provident, then a mutual savings bank, saw its deposits grow from $300 million to more than $1 billion. He also expanded its neighborhood branch system.
He retired as CEO in 1983 at the bank's annual meeting, but assumed the title of chairman of the board and later chairman emeritus.
About four years after his retirement, Mr. Kershaw suffered a cardiac arrest after playing 18 holes of golf at the bank's annual outing at Eagles Nest Country Club. He was kept alive by 40 minutes of CPR administered by a bank director, Francis Riggs, and 10 other bank officials. He subsequently had surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital for a ruptured heart valve.
Mr. Kershaw made a full recovery and called the experience his "life dividend."
About a year later, he defended himself with an umbrella and survived five stab wounds in a mugging incident in Bolton Hill, where he had parked a car while attending a concert with family members.
Mr. Kershaw was a past treasurer of the board of directors of the Baltimore Girl Scouts and a director of the Baltimore Equitable Society, Wesley United Methodist Home and United Way of Maryland.
From 1970 to 1982, he was board treasurer of McDonogh School and for many years headed the administrative board of the old Roland Avenue United Methodist Church, where he married his surviving wife of 61 years, the former Lois Mae Ruby. The church closed about 10 years ago.
Mr. Kershaw was a member of the Maryland Club and the Financial Executives Institute.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. April 2 at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Cathedral and Read Streets, where he was a communicant.
In addition to his son and wife, survivors include another son, John Harvey Kershaw of Sparks, and two granddaughters.