Christopher Henry Wiemer, 93, helped start United Cerebral Palsy

July 20, 1998|By Kirsten Scharnberg | Kirsten Scharnberg,SUN STAFF

Christopher Henry Wiemer, a businessman who dedicated his life to helping children with cerebral palsy and other physically disabling conditions, died of cancer Thursday at his Easton home. He was 93.

Mr. Wiemer, who was born in New York City, helped found the United Cerebral Palsy Association in the 1940s and was instrumental in organizing Baltimore's first cerebral palsy telethon in the late 1950s.

"He was very proud of the work he did with cerebral palsy," said his wife, the former Ruth Brunyate of Ruxton.

Mr. Wiemer, who began his career as a Wall Street businessman before going to work for Pan American World Airways, first became involved with cerebral palsy fund-raising after his only daughter was born mentally and physically handicapped from the disease. He eventually went to work full time in the health care field, serving as president of the Nassau County Cerebral Palsy Association in New York.

He moved to Baltimore in 1953, where he became the executive director of the Children's Rehabilitation Institute in Reisterstown, now Kennedy Krieger Institute.

In 1962, Mr. Wiemer became administrator of Baltimore County General Hospital, and in 1965 he was hired as business manager United Way Fund of Central Maryland. He retired in 1979 and moved to Easton.

Mr. Wiemer frequently made the 1 1/2 -hour trip into Baltimore from his Easton home to visit his daughter, who lives in a group home in Baltimore. Mr. Wiemer, who had been widowed since 1959, remarried in 1970.

"He was a fascinating man with a fascinating career," said Ruth ** Wiemer.

Those who worked with Mr. Wiemer at United Way remember him as a "hard worker whose bark was worse than his bite," said Charles E. Gagen, a United Way assistant campaign director when he worked with Mr. Wiemer.

"He was highly respected," Mr. Gagen said. "He was feared by some because he had a gruff exterior, but his heart was pure gold. That's evident by looking at his life." Mr. Gagen said Mr. Wiemer was the kind of man who often did favors and kind deeds for his co-workers, but he always did them anonymously and never expected anything in return.

"He always was looking out for others," Mr. Gagen said.

Mr. Wiemer, who was the son of the late Christopher and Marie Corvey Wiemer, graduated from Stuyvesant High School in New York in 1926. He received his business degree in 1930 from Manhattan College, where he was a member of Beta Sigma fraternity. He served in the Army in World War II.

He was a member of the Mary Immaculate Council of the Knights of Columbus in Glyndon, and the Seventh Regiment Veterans Association of the New York National Guard. He also was a member of the Reisterstown Lions Club, Easton Elks Lodge 1622 and had volunteered at the Talbot County YMCA and the Talbot County Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Funeral services will be private.

A memorial service, at a date yet to be determined, will be held at St. Mark's United Methodist Church in Easton.

The family suggests memorial contributions to the Talbot County YMCA, Peachblossom Road, Easton, Md. 21601.

Mr. Wiemer was married for 23 years to the late Mary Elizabeth Burke Wiemer. In addition to his wife, Ruth, he is survived by a daughter, Mary Louise Wiemer of Baltimore.

! Pub Date: 7/20/98

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