Harry J. Tafe, 79, formerly of Holland, retired vice president of marketing for ARA Services in Philadelphia, died of cardiac arrest Saturday, June 4, at Sylvan Ridge Personal Care Home in Bradford County.

In the mid-1970s, he joined ARA Services, now Aramark, in Philadelphia. He headed its marketing division until retiring in 1992.

Previously, he was an executive for Burlington Industries in New York for several years.

He also briefly taught at George Washington High School in Northeast Philadelphia and was a marketing professor at Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science, now Philadelphia University. While working, he earned a master's degree in business administration and a doctorate in marketing research from Temple University.

Growing up in Olney, Dr. Tafe had a dozen part-time jobs, including working as a ball boy for a local baseball team, his daughter, Tricia Williams, said. After graduating from Northeast Catholic High School, he entered St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood to study for the priesthood.

He earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy in the seminary and studied there for eight years, leaving before he was ordained. He was an active member and past president of the Serra Club of Philadelphia, which promotes religious vocation, and remained close to his seminary classmates, his daughter said.

A longtime Phillies season ticket holder, Dr. Tafe was a catcher with the Olney Vets baseball team as a young man. Later, he became an accomplished golfer and played at Melrose Country Club.

He and his wife, Patricia Igo Tafe, met at Frankford Hospital, where she was a nurse. He had gone to the hospital after breaking his thumb during a baseball game.

They married in 1961 and raised a family in Holland. She died in 1999. In 2003, he moved to Cape May. Two years ago, he moved to Troy, in Bradford County, to be near his family.

Dr. Tafe was a veteran of the Pennsylvania National Guard.

In addition to his daughter, he is survived by a son, Thomas; a sister; and five grandchildren.

A Funeral Mass will be at 1 p.m. Thursday, June 9, at St. John's Church, Exchange and High Streets, Troy. Friends may call from 11 a.m. Burial will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, June 11, at Resurrection Cemetery, Bensalem.

Contact staff writer Sally A. Downey at 215-854-2913 or sdowney@phillynews.com.