JERRY CLOTHIER was a highly respected Phillies executive for 30 years, but to the team's employees, he was far more than that.

He was a boss with a spirit and a heart, which endeared him not only to the team's employees but to everyone who came in contact with him.

"To many Phillies employees, Mr. Clothier was more than an executive," the team said in a statement. "He served as a mentor, teacher, friend, big brother and father figure. He was respected by everyone."

Jerry Clothier, Phillies senior vice president for business and finance, who cut his teeth in the financial world as a partner with Price Waterhouse, died Saturday of prostate cancer. He was 66.

"For the past 30 years, Jerry made an enormous contribution to the Phillies and the game of baseball," said David Montgomery, Phillies president and CEO. "His engaging personality endeared him to all who knew him. He was more than a colleague, he was a dear friend to all of us."

"Jerry was someone I truly loved, as did many others," said team chairman Bill Giles. "He was a very talented, funny, courageous, caring and a fantastic family man. I'm filled with wonderful memories of a very special person, memories that will be with me forever."

Baseball commissioner Bud Selig said Jerry was an "outstanding executive who served the Phillies with excellence since 1982. Jerry contributed greatly to this golden era of Phillies baseball that continues at Citizens Bank Park, but his skills benefited our industry as a whole in a number of ways."

He noted that Clothier was a committee member of the Players Pension Plan for decades and served as a trustee on Major League Baseball's Non-uniformed Personal Pension Plan Committee for more than 10 years.

Jerry was born in Claymont, Del., and grew up in Swarthmore. He graduated from Swarthmore High School in 1963 and the University of Delaware, where he received a bachelor's degree in accounting, in 1967.

After college, Jerry joined Price Waterhouse before entering the Navy. He served three years as a supply officer. He returned to Philly and in 1973 received a master's degree in finance from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.

He was living in East Falls in the '70s when he returned to Price Waterhouse and transferred to Dallas, where he worked in the management consulting division and became a partner.

He came back to Philadelphia in 1982 and joined the Phillies - "his beloved team" - as vice president of finance.

Jerry was a board member of Phillies Charities Inc., and a trustee of the Free Library of Philadelphia. He was appointed to the board of the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority by then-Mayor Ed Rendell in 1996.

In September, he was honored with the Richie Ashburn Special Achievement Award, given to members of the Phillies organization "who demonstrate loyalty, dedication and passion for the game."

Jerry is survived by his wife of 43 years, the former Sherry Riggs; two daughters, Amy Gaudion and Kelly Weston; a brother, Robert B. Clothier Jr., and five grandchildren.

Services: Memorial service 11 a.m. tomorrow at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 22 E. Chestnut Hill Ave.

Donations may be made to Phillies Charities Inc., One Citizens Bank Way, Philadelphia 19148, or the Free Library of Philadelphia, Development Office, 1901 Vine St., Philadelphia 19103.