We have just buried Juan Alberto Valls Jové (Barcelona, 1931), the lawyer and entrepreneur of a lush and distinctive white hair that was in itself an institution of the Catalan capital.
It was mixed in all the sauces, wove countless social-cultural networks and sponsored initiatives, some solidary, others unusual and in some cases crazy. Like the book Home gifts, a beautiful catalog of photographs (his and Óscar Muñoz) of the images of women sculpted on the facades of Barcelona: he weighed so much, two kilos, that he had to eat it with potatoes.
Juan Alberto belonged to the category of hereus, the heirs, already of a long saga of lawyers or of the Bodega Jové, of Vilafranca, whose pink cava (and we) exulted. But that did not stop him from striving as if he were not: he participated in the launching or consolidation of multiple companies, of food, metal, technology, consulting.
And presided over from its foundation, almost eternally, the Expominer hall of the Fira de Barcelona (minerals, fossils, precious stones). He was one of the founders of the Circle of Economy (partner number two) and made pinitos in politics with the popular ones: without success, although some applied to him with sarcasm the nickname of The Diputat. He was an athlete and he took care of himself like upper class English: did not wear cardigans, but cardigan.
All this did not deter him from dedicating much of his agenda to the disinherited: as governor of Rotarians, and above all as founder and president of the Pax Foundation.
It is an institution dedicated to medical and family care, in Catalan hospitals, to children injured by anti-personnel mines in war zones. It was his ultimate passion, to which he devoted himself intensely looking for (and finding) funds and promoting awareness and involvement of local youth, through competitions and events in schools.
Before that, he had founded the Mediterranean Culture Center. He promoted Picasso's first exhibitions in Japan and the Middle East. And at home, by local artist Enric Galwey, who was the first private collector. He also treasured classic and antique cars, which he used without embarrassment, and organized several editions of the Rally La Garriga-Puigcerdà. He still had time to preside over the alumni of the Jesuits of Sarrià.
Humanist, dandy, curious, great conversationalist, best host and possessor of many anecdotes and many more friends, he helped modernize an old social class and eliminate some of his mothballs.
More open liberal than closed conservative, he carried with style his painful disease in the back, which fought wisely with vermouths and the family (five children) and / or people of culture, in his refuge, the casino or the plaza de La Garriga. Always under the ironic maxim according to which "the last thing to lose is the sense of humor". To faith that divided it.