Railway Preservation News

Obit: Henry A. Rentschler
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Author:  NH0401 [ Sat Dec 14, 2013 10:02 am ]
Post subject:  Obit: Henry A. Rentschler

From the Spring 2013 (vol. 42, no, 2) issue of the [i]Society for Industrial Archeology Newsletter-

Longtime SIA member Henry Adam "Hank" Rentschler died on March 26, 2013, after a long struggle with cancer. He was 84.

Hank was born on July 27, 1928, in Hamilton, Ohio. He attended the Hamilton public schools through the tenth grade, then transferred to Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass. Hank graduated from Princeton in 1950 and remained an active and devoted alumnus ever after, even forgoing SIA conferences if they conflicted with class reunions.

Hank's first job was with the Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton Corp. in Lima, Ohio, where he had the "slightly humorous" (his words) title of Special Methods Engineer. In 1952 he volunteered for active duty in the U.S. Navy. He was assigned to Bay City, Mich., where, as the supply corps officer, he oversaw various contracts, including those concerned with the building of aircraft rescue boats. These speedy craft helped save dozens of downed pilots during the Korean War. He received an honorable discharge in 1954.

Returning to Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton--this time at the giant works at Eddystone, Pa.--Hank's initial assignment was in the Hydraulic Press and Power Tools Dept. He later moved to a wide variety of administrative jobs with the title of Manager of Marketing Administration. In the mid-1960s, he was placed in charge of the manufacture of renewal parts. This division operated successfully until 1971, when the Eddystone complex was liquidated.

The renewal parts operation was spun off to private ownership and given the name Baldwin-Hamilton Co. Hank was named president. Over the next twenty years, the company's primary business was the manufacture of renewal parts for Baldwin locomotives and diesel engines. When Baldwin-Hamilton closed in 1991, Hank ensured that the firm's remaining drawings and records were donated to major museums.

During the SIA Fall Tour to Deadwood, S.D., in 1991,this writer suggested that this newly retired executive put his industry background to work for the SIA. Hank was elected to the Board of Directors in 1993. During his three-year term he managed the Society's tours and conferences assiduously, as those who served on local arrangements committees will attest. Hank's signal accomplishment was the planning and execution of an SIA study tour to England and Wales in 1993.

Hank leaves his devoted friend and companion of twenty-eight years, Rosemarie Hope; his three children and their spouses; two grandchildren, and his brother and sister.

Author:  filmteknik [ Sat Dec 14, 2013 11:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Obit: Henry A. Rentschler

I couldn't just pick out one.

http://yardlimit.railfan.net/baldwindie ... index.html

Author:  John D [ Sat Dec 14, 2013 12:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Obit: Henry A. Rentschler

Wow-while I had read his posts with great interest, I had no idea he was from the Navy's Supply Corps community (as am I). He was a great source of information on Baldwin.

Author:  Loco112 [ Sun Dec 15, 2013 7:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Obit: Henry A. Rentschler

Anyone who ever contacted Henry soon learned that he was very eager to help with any question concerning; Baldwin, Lima, Whitcomb, and any of the Baldwin subsidiary companies.

Hank answered a lot of questions over the last 50+ years.

He will be greatly missed.

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