Wilbur J. Reitze, 93, mechanical engineer, manager

March 24, 2006

Wilbur Justus "Bill" Reitze, a mechanical engineer and manager whose career with the Exxon Oil Co. spanned more than 40 years, died in his sleep March 16 at the Broadmead retirement community. The former Timonium resident was 93.

Mr. Reitze was born in Baltimore and raised on Kenwood Avenue. He was a 1931 graduate of Polytechnic Institute and earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Johns Hopkins University in 1934.

He began working that year for the Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey as an engineer at its Canton refinery in Baltimore.

During World War II, he served in the Army and was assigned to the Pentagon in Washington, where he was chief of the maintenance division of the Transportation Corps.

In 1945, he was transferred to Exxon's New York office and lived in Westfield, N.J. He returned to Baltimore in 1965 when he was named industrial business manager at Exxon. He retired in 1978.

Mr. Reitze lived for many years on Wingate Road in Timonium before moving to the Cockeysville retirement community in 1983.

Mr. Reitze enjoyed spending winters at a second home he owned on St. Simons Island, Ga. He was a member of the Johns Hopkins Club and Baltimore Country Club where he liked to golf. He was a member of Ashland Presbyterian Church.

He was married for 40 years to the former Naoma Henschen, who died in 1983.

Plans for a memorial service to be held in Houston were incomplete yesterday.

Surviving are a son, David M. Reitze of Houston; three grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

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