Henry V. Rieger Sr., advertising executive

November 29, 2008|By Frederick N. Rasmussen

Henry V. Rieger Sr., a retired Baltimore advertising executive and former Catonsville resident, died Nov. 21 of complications from a stroke at Salisbury Rehabilitation and Nursing Home on the Eastern Shore. He was 96.

Born in Locust Point and raised on McKean Avenue, he was a 1930 graduate of City College.

After graduating from the old Baltimore School of Commerce, Mr. Rieger began his advertising career in 1932 as an office boy for the old Hub department store.

He worked his way up to advertising director and promotion manager at the department store at Baltimore and Charles streets.

Mr. Rieger, who was classified 4-F by the Selective Service System during World War II, produced one of the most successful advertising campaigns for the 5th War Bond Drive in Maryland, relatives said.

He also designed publicity campaigns for the Red Cross and the Office of Price Administration during the war years.

"His work on the war bond advertising campaign earned him a U.S. Treasury Silver Medal of Honor," said his son, H. Victor Rieger Jr. of Cockeysville.

During the war, Mr. Rieger organized and headed a volunteer group of air raid wardens in Govans.

In 1950, he left the Hecht Co., owner of the Hub store, and established Rieger Advertising Agency Inc., which handled advertising for clients that included savings and loans and retail businesses.

In 1982, he moved the agency to Chance, Somerset County, after a gunman entered his Jackson Towers office on Bolton Hill and robbed him.

Mr. Rieger, who retired in 1997, had been a member of the Advertising Club of Baltimore and the Sales Promotion Club of Baltimore. He was also an active member of the Deal Island-Chance Lions Club.

Mr. Rieger, who had been baptized a Roman Catholic and was confirmed at 14 in the Lutheran Church, was a member of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

He enjoyed fishing and crabbing.

Services were private.

Also surviving are his wife of 21 years, the former Margie Waddell; a daughter, Helga Chrisma Melvin of Laurel, Del.; a brother, Joseph Rieger of Baltimore; a sister, Frieda Gustafson of Baltimore; and seven grandchildren. Earlier marriages to Albertina DuVall, Bernadette Uhlfelder and Helga Kueppers ended in divorce.

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