Wilton E. Geldmacher, candy, food supplier

January 17, 1995|By Karen Zeiler | Karen Zeiler,Contributing Writer

Wilton E. Geldmacher, whose Dutch Treat Cash and Carry Warehouse has supplied candy, food and paper products to Anne Arundel County stores and restaurants for 35 years, died Wednesday of a heart attack.

The Pasadena resident, who was 58, died while picking up salads in Baltimore to be distributed by his business.

"Dutch Treat has been a landmark in Anne Arundel County for years," said his brother, Wayne Geldmacher, of Severn. "He supplied everything from Hershey's and Wrigley's candy to canned foods and paper towels."

Named for the Pennsylvania Dutch candy he sold to neighborhood grocery stores in the 1960s, the venture grew to provide jobs for 20 workers and generate revenue of $4 million a year.

Mr. Geldmacher and his wife, the former Edith Stivers, founded the business in 1959 with a $77 loan.

They started by packaging and selling candy at their Linthicum home and gradually added products as customers made requests for them.

They eventually moved the company to a small warehouse on Jumpers Hole Road. Quickly outgrowing that facility, they moved in 1988 to a 50,000-square-foot warehouse a block away on the same road.

"When he started, he had a large truck lined with shelves, and people would come and buy right off the truck," his brother said.

"He sold varieties of penny candy you couldn't buy anywhere else, including liquid wax candy, string licorice and candy buttons on paper," Mrs. Geldmacher said.

"We sold to a lot of mom-and-pop stores," she said. "A big part of our business was with the small bars and restaurants in the area. We geared our business to the needs of the community."

Dutch Treat supplied goods to Stansbury and Marley drug stores and sold candy made by several Baltimore-based candy manufacturers, including the Miss America Co., the General Candy Co., and the Fred Foos Co., which made jelly beans.

Reared in Elkridge, Mr. Geldmacher was a 1956 graduate of Howard County High School and a longtime member of the Elkridge Volunteer Fire Department.

From 1956 to 1958, he served in the Air Force Reserve as an airman second class and a jet mechanic. In the early 1960s, he was commander of the Elkridge Civil Air Patrol.

He also worked briefly for Trailways bus lines as a baggage clerk.

Mr. Geldmacher was a member of the Brooklyn Lions Club and the Stoney Creek Democratic Club.

Services were set for 10 a.m. today at the McCully Funeral Home, 3204 Mountain Road, Pasadena.

Other survivors include a daughter, Lynette Walters of Millersville; his mother, J. Louise Geldmacher of Arnold; two other brothers, Gary Geldmacher of Brooklyn Park and Timothy Geldmacher of Pasadena; a sister, Charlene Zeigler of Glen Burnie; and a granddaughter.

Memorial donations may be made to the Wilmer Eye Institute, Development Office, Wilmer 120, Johns Hopkins Hospital, 600 N. Wolfe St., Baltimore 21287.

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