In Memory of




Obituary for John Michael Palffy

On Wednesday, March 28, 2019, John Palffy, beloved father, loving husband, brother, and friend passed away at the age of 60. John, as described by his family, has always been a "family man" first and foremost. In his daughters' eyes, he will forever and always be a hero, strong and wise.

John was born on July 28, 1958 in New York, New York to Raoul and Mary Rose (Santos) Palffy. He graduated from Kenyon College with his "brothers from the heart forever", the DKEs. John earned his MBA in Finance from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and completed work towards a PhD in Economics from George Mason University. He went on to spend more than 30 years as an investment banker, business consultant, and entrepreneur. John began his private sector career as Vice President of Corporate Finance at Johnston-Lemon & Co. (Washington, DC) where he specialized in the public offerings and consolidation of financial institutions. He returned home to Michigan as Vice President of Corporate Finance for First of Michigan. In 1991, John formed JMP Financial, Inc., an independent boutique investment banking firm.

His professional career truly began in Washington, DC where he was a Walker Fellow in Economics for the Heritage Foundation. John was recognized, while at Heritage, by the Chamber of Commerce as the "go to" expert on conservative budget policy. He was also Chief Economist to Dan Quayle through whom he first proposed legislation for price-indexed Treasury bonds. John finished his career in politics as a senior political appointee in the Reagan Administration USDA. He served too as an Adjunct Professor in the Graduate Schools of Business at Wayne State University and Walsh College where he taught Finance, Economics, and Public Finance.

As a lifelong Grosse Pointer, John loved sailing on Lake St. Clair, kayaking in his backyard, playing hockey and baseball, and sunny days in the hammock with his golden retriever, Reagan. He lived for his family, and he always supported his daughters’ adventures and achievements.
John was preceded in death by his parents, Raoul and Mary Rose. He is survived by his wife Carla, their three daughters, Jessica, Amanda, and Torie, son-in-law Douglas, and his brother Robert.

The family has requested that, in lieu of flowers, donations, in John's memory, be directed towards Detroit's own RecoveryPark. RecoveryPark is an urban farm with a mission to create jobs for people with barriers to employment. John served as COO of RecoveryPark, a place where the mission, team, and work brought him such incredible joy.

Please find the donation page linked here: