C. William Ritterhoff, 81, Beth Steel executive

April 16, 2003

C. William Ritterhoff, a retired Bethlehem Steel Corp. executive, died of cancer Thursday at his home in Vero Beach, Fla. The former Homeland resident was 81.

Born in Baltimore and raised on Springlake Way, the son of a hardware store owner, Mr. Ritterhoff was a 1939 graduate of Polytechnic Institute.

He served in the Army from 1943 to 1946, interrupting his college studies in mechanical engineering. He earned his degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1947.

He joined Bethlehem Steel's Sparrows Point plant in 1946 as an assistant engineer in the mechanical department. In 1957, he was named assistant superintendent of the Sparrows Point plate mill. Three years later, he was promoted to assistant chief engineer of the plant's engineering department.

In 1967, he was named general manager of Bethlehem Steel's new Burns Harbor plant in Michigan City, Ind. From there he moved to the company's Bethlehem, Pa., headquarters as vice president of steel operations. In 1974, he was named executive vice president and elected to the company's board of directors. He retired in 1982 after five years as vice chairman of Bethlehem Steel.

He was a member of the American Iron and Steel Institute, the National Association of Manufacturers and the Association of Iron and Steel Engineers. He also was a member of the Grand Lodge of Ancient and Free and Accepted Masons of Maryland and the Moorings Club in Vero Beach and the Bridgehampton Club in Bridgehampton, N.Y.

A memorial service is planned for 11 a.m. June 7 at St. Anne's Episcopal Church in Bridgehampton.

Survivors include his wife of 16 years, the former Marita Conroy; two sons, Charles W. Ritterhoff Jr. of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and James E. Ritterhoff of Katonah, N.Y.; a daughter, Leslie Raub of Bethlehem, Pa.; and three grandchildren. His wife of 45 years, the former Margery McKenney, died in 1987.

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