John Pitcairn settled in Bryn Athyn, where he founded institutions of his Swedenborgian religion: the Bryn Athyn Cathedral and Academy of the New Church.
Mr. Pitcairn served as a flight instructor in the Navy during World War II and earned a bachelor's degree plus some law school credits at the University of Pennsylvania. Then he went to work for the family trust that John Pitcairn's three sons had created to protect the plate glass inheritance. He acted as the vice president, director, and treasurer of the trust from 1954 to 1986.
He also dedicated himself to the cathedral. He supervised improvements, working directly with stonemasons and woodcutters to design artful doors.
At home, he and his wife, Betty Jean Horigan, who died in 1979, led nightly candlelight prayer sessions for their seven children.
A fan of fishing and bird hunting, Mr. Pitcairn had a passion for music. He started playing the cello as a child, and took up trombone as well late in life. The Curtis String Quartet sometimes called upon him when it needed a fifth or sixth player for a piece, his son said. He also played at weddings and funerals, and taught music appreciation from 1981 to 1993 at Bryn Athyn College.
"Not only did he have so many varied interests and activities, but he just loved to share his interests with other people," Scot Pitcairn said. "He lived a very full life."
In addition to his son, he is survived by daughters Fawn Ferguson, Lark Walter, and Beth Jewell. Three other daughters are deceased.
Services were Friday, Sept. 20.
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