Lawrence W. Reter, Founded Building Firm

August 08, 2009|By Frederick N. Rasmussen

Lawrence W. Reter, founder and owner of a construction company that bears his name and a longtime active Kiwanis Club member and volunteer, died Wednesday of complications from dementia at Seasons Hospice at Northwest Hospital Center.

A Reisterstown resident since 1974, Mr. Reter was 87.

Mr. Reter, the son of dairy farmers, was born and raised in Owings Mills. He attended Baltimore County public schools.

"He dropped out in the seventh grade and worked on the farm and as a carpenter," said his wife of 40 years, the former Margaret "Peggy" Fisher.

"He was a self-made man and had the pluck of a bantam rooster. He had the aggression and ability to establish and run his own company," Mrs. Reter said.

In 1953, he established the Lawrence W. Reter Construction Co. in Reisterstown, which built custom homes and other buildings.

One project Mr. Reter was proud of was the move of the Reisterstown town clock from the town hall to the Masonic Lodge.

"It's still there today," said Mrs. Reter, who worked alongside her husband, handling bookkeeping and running the office.

Mr. Reter retired in 1988.

He was a member of the Kiwanis Club of Reisterstown for 50 years and had been awarded its Legion of Honor, and Kiwanis International George S. Hixson Award.

Mr. Reter was also active in the Kiwanis Club's Terrific Kid program in local elementary schools.

He collected and delivered food to Our Daily Bread and was a driver for Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland.

Mr. Reter was a past president of the Reisterstown, Owings Mills and Glyndon Chamber of Commerce, and was a volunteer and past president of the Glyndon Volunteer Fire Company and a member of the Reisterstown Volunteer Fire Company.

He was a member of Reisterstown United Methodist Church.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Eline Funeral Home, 11824 Reisterstown Road, Reisterstown.

Also surviving are two daughters, Carol Vaughan of Hampstead and Peggy Martin of Finksburg; two stepdaughters, Jennifer Lenz of Pasadena and Cynthia Russell of Midland, N.C.; a brother, Carl Reter of Owings Mills; two sisters, Charlotte Harman of Westminster and Leona Caples of Glyndon; five grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and seven step-grandchildren. An earlier marriage ended in divorce.

- Frederick N. Rasmussen

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