Dr. Christian Frederick Richter, a retired Baltimore County obstetrician and gynecologist who was an avid Civil War buff, died of leukemia Thursday at Edenwald Retirement Community in Towson. The former longtime Ruxton resident was 91.
Dr. Richter, the son of a builder, was born in Baltimore and raised in Overlea. He was a 1932 graduate of Towson High School and earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland in 1936.
After earning his medical degree from the University of Maryland Medical School in 1941, Dr. Richter worked for the U.S. Public Health Service in New Orleans during World War II.
He returned to Baltimore after the war and established an OB/GYN practice in Towson. For many years he had his main office in the Professional Building on Osler Drive. He also had satellite offices in the Rosedale Medical Center on Philadelphia Road and Perry Hall Medical Center on Belair Road. He retired in 1986.
"Chris was a very gentle man and an excellent doctor who had a wonderful bedside manner. He always had a large practice that included many nurses," said Dr. Adelmo C. Marana, an obstetrician and gynecologist who had practiced with him.
"He was a bit ahead of his time because he believed in group practices. He also quickly embraced new technologies," said Dr. Fermin Barrueto, who was associated with Dr. Richter for 12 years.
"He gave himself to his patients, who were very fond of him, and he made sure they all got the same level of care and attention whether they were old or new ones. He also worked hard to get them well and didn't think one minute about referring them to a specialist if needed," Dr. Barrueto said.
He described Dr. Richter as "an honest, plain physician who enjoyed his profession."
During his career, he once estimated that he had delivered more than 3,000 babies and cared for three generations of patients from the same families.
Dr. Richter looked forward to spending Christmas Day with Dr. Barrueto and his family.
"He'd always come for Christmas dinner, and the moment he came through the door my children would begin shouting, `Uncle Chris! Uncle Chris!'" Dr. Barrueto said.
As a serious student of the Civil War, Dr. Richter had amassed a large library devoted to the subject. He was a member of the Civil War Roundtable and a charter member of the National Museum of Civil War Medicine in Frederick.
"When we got married in 1984, we spent five weeks of our six-week honeymoon visiting Civil War battlefields and I don't think we missed one of them. The only reason we cut the trip short was because a grandchild had been born and we came back to Baltimore," said his wife, the former Corinne Eye.
Dr. Richter liked sailing the Chesapeake Bay aboard Ariescor, his classic 50-foot, Trumpy-built yacht. He was also a world traveler, and had visited Europe, China, Japan and Australia.
He was a master Mason and an active member of Boumi Temple, where he had been medical director. He was also a member of the York and Scottish Rites and Royal Order of Jesters.
Dr. Richter was a longtime member of Epiphany Lutheran Church in Baltimore.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at Ascension Evangelical Lutheran Church, 7601 York Road, Towson.
Also surviving are a daughter, Charlotte O'Connor of Timonium; a stepdaughter, Ann Harness Hodge of Portland, Conn.; a grandson; and three great-grandchildren. His marriage to the former Irene Dusch ended in divorce. His second wife, Irma Ihre, died in 1982; and his son, Christian Frederick Richter III, died in 1998.