Harvey Kaylie, who rose from a childhood in poverty in Brooklyn to become a successful businessman and philanthropist, died at 80 on May 30.
A resident of Great Neck, L.I., he was a supporter of several Jewish and civic causes.
Mr. Kaylie retired in 2015 as president of Mini-Circuits, a Brooklyn-based manufacturer of microwave components and integrated circuits. He had founded the firm in 1969.
OHEL Children’s Home and Family Services’ Camp Kaylie in Westchester, which serves children with a wide variety of special needs, is named for Mr. Kaylie and his wife Gloria.
The couple’s relationship with the nonprofit began two decades ago with the donation of Chanukah gifts, said David Mandel, CEO of OHEL.
“When we presented the concept [of the camp, which is also open to mainstream campers] to Harvey, he immediately thought that it was not only a good way to break down stigmas, but his words were, ‘this teaches kids to understand people who are different so when they grow up, they will not have biases that adults have,’” Mandel told The Island Now newspaper.
Mr. Kaylie and two younger brothers were raised by a single mother, Tess Kaylie, who would patch her children’s shoes with paper and walk miles to save money on bus fare.
“As the eldest in our family, I felt the need to help my mother as much as possible, and to act as a sort of protector for my younger brothers,” he wrote in “From Zeidie to Zeidie,” his 2017 autobiography (Orthodox Union/NCSY). “It never occurred to me that I was just a child myself, still attending school and playing games like others my age. I had an entrepreneurial urge to make money and support my family.”
Mr. Kaylie, who graduated from high school at 15, studied at the City University of New York. He worked for Airborne Instruments Laboratory, Dumont, Phillips and ITT before establishing Mini-Circuits.
Other recipients that the Harvey & Gloria Foundation supported included Yeshiva University, Yeshiva Har Torah, Great Neck Synagogue, the Hampton Synagogue, Ezrat Israel, the Aleh Negev Foundation, and Weill Cornell Medical Center. In 2010a $3 million gift established the Kaylie Prze for Entrepreneurship at CUNY.
In 2015 Mr. Kaylie served as grand marshal of the Celebrate Israel parade.
He is survived by his wife; children Robert, Alicia and Daniel; and grandchildren Hudson, Lee, Leeron, Shira, Adee, Yoni, Gali and Lavee.