Edgar J. Altvater Jr.RestaurateurEdgar J. Altvater Jr...


October 05, 1993

Edgar J. Altvater Jr.


Edgar J. Altvater Jr., who retired in 1988 as the owner of the House of Crabs restaurant on U.S. 50 near Ocean City, died Friday of cancer at his home in Berlin. He was 71.

Before opening the House of Crabs in 1973, which his sons now operate, he was co-owner of the National Pike Crab House in Howard County, which he and his partner, Leslie Spittle, opened in 1963.

He was reared in West Baltimore and was a 1940 graduate of City College. From 1940 to 1941, when he joined the Navy, he played first base for the Washington Senators farm team in Ocala, Fla.

During World War II, he served aboard aircraft carriers and participated in the invasion of Okinawa in 1945. He attained the rank of chief petty officer.

After the war, he earned his broker's license at the Weaver School of Real Estate in Chicago and worked in the field for several years. He also attended the University of Maryland at Baltimore. He worked briefly in the early 1960s as secretary to former Rep. Clarence D. Long, D-2nd.

His wife, the former Mary Annette Zink, whom he married in 1943, said he enjoyed playing softball, racquetball, bowling and going to the casinos in Las Vegas and Atlantic City.

"We sponsor a softball team, the House of Crabs, and he was the oldest pitcher in the league, and he was good, too," recalled his wife.

He was a member of St. Peter's Lutheran Church in Ocean City, the Catonsville Masonic Lodge, Sinepuxent American Legion Post No. 123 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8296 in Ocean City, the Ocean City Marlin Club and Ocean City Chapter 1917 of the American Association of Retired Persons, where he was recording secretary and hospitality chairman.

Services were set for 1 p.m. today at the Witzke Funeral Home, 1630 Edmondson Ave., Catonsville, with interment in Meadowridge Memorial Park, 7250 Washington Blvd., Elkridge.

He also is survived by two sons, Mark E. Altvater of Ocean Pines and John Carroll Altvater of Berlin; two daughters, Barbara A. Johnson and Catherine L. James, both of Westminster; two sisters, Jeanne Sanders of Westminster and Carole Bowen of Catonsville; 10 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

George Lentz Sr.

Food chemist

George A. Lentz Sr., a retired food chemist and one of the last surviving members of City College's Class of 1918, died Saturday of pneumonia at North Arundel Hospital. He was 93.

From around 1925 until he retired in 1970, Mr. Lentz worked for C.M. Pitts and a successor firm, the old Mangels Herold Co., a food processor that made King's Syrup, at Key Highway and Boyle Street.

"He was responsible for making supplies and checking on the [products] that the bakers used to make," said his son, George A. Lentz Jr. "He was involved in developing products for the dehydrations process for the bakers."

The Baltimore native was educated in the city public schools. His son said Mr. Lentz was one of three surviving 1918 graduates of City College, based on information used for the Class of 1918 scholarship fund. After graduation, he attended the Johns Hopkins University night school for two years.

He was scheduled to receive his 70-year Masonic pin from Corinthian Lodge No. 93. His membership anniversary occurred last month.

He was president of the Maryland and National Federation of Men's Bible Classes between the 1950s and 1970s, and taught Bible classes for 60 years -- most recently at Good Shepherd United Methodist Church in South Baltimore.

Mr. Lentz's marriage of 18 years to the former Velma Woods ended in divorce. She died in 1983.

In addition to his son, he is survived by his wife of 27 years, the former Myrtle Baker; another son, Robert Gordon Lentz of Baltimore; a stepdaughter, Charlotte Muller of Baltimore; a stepson, Kenneth Bull of Hampstead; 13 grandchildren; and 17 great-grandchildren.

Services were set for 1 p.m. today at the Burgee-Henss funeral home, 3631 Falls Road, Baltimore.

The family suggested memorial donations may be made to the Good Shepherd church at 301 E. Fort Ave., Baltimore 21230.

Dr. Nathan Block

Retired obstetrician

Dr. Nathan Block, a retired obstetrician, died Sunday of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, at Northwest Medical Center. He was 78.

The Pikesville resident retired in 1988 from a practice he began in 1943 in the Middle River, Dundalk and Rosedale areas.

Born and educated in New York City, he earned his medical degree in 1938 from the Long Island University College of Medicine. He completed a residency in surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York in 1938 and was an intern in radiology and obstetrics at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston from 1930 to 1940. He came to Baltimore in 1940 as a resident in obstetrics at Sinai Hospital.

He was a member of the medical staffs at Sinai, Franklin Square and St. Joseph hospitals.

During World War II, he was an Army medical officer at Letterman General Hospital in San Francisco.

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