Obituary: Henry Adam Rentschler

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Obituary: Henry Adam Rentschler

Postby Allen Hazen » Sun Dec 08, 2013 6:15 pm

A friend lent me today the Spring 2013 (vol. 42, no, 2) issue of the Society for Industrial Archeology Newsletter. It contained an obituary, by Carol Poh, for "Henry Adam Rentschler (1928-2013)."

Hank Adam was a long time and much valued contributor to this forum, and our link to the management of BLH.

Carol Poh's article (since the Society is non-profit, I am going to assume there are no copyright issues in copying the whole text):

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.
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Re: Obituary: Henry Adam Rentschler

Postby MEC407 » Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:18 pm

Thank you for posting this, Allen.

Rest in peace, Mr. Rentschler, and heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.

We've lost several fine people at RAILROAD.NET recently. :(
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Re: Obituary: Henry Adam Rentschler

Postby locomotive112 » Sun Dec 15, 2013 6:16 pm

Henry was always eager to help anyone who contacted him and loved answering questions about anything Baldwin and any of the Baldwin subsidiary companies.

For those wanting to read his very informative posts her, Henry used the username hankadam.

The posts should be considered required reading for any Baldwin fan.

Henry will be greatly missed.
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Re: Obituary: Henry Adam Rentschler

Postby Tadman » Sun Dec 15, 2013 6:30 pm

I'm sorry to hear of this. Henry was very generous with his Baldwin historical material, given my interest in the Hamilton area. I went to college nearby and spent a lot of time driving through Hamilton. I'll see if I can scan the material and post it.
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Re: Obituary: Henry Adam Rentschler

Postby mtuandrew » Sun Dec 15, 2013 8:23 pm

Rest in peace, Mr. Rentschler. The B-L-H forum and this entire community will be a sadder and poorer place without you.
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Re: Obituary: Henry Adam Rentschler

Postby MBTA1016 » Sun Dec 15, 2013 10:25 pm

Sending my condolences as well
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Re: Obituary: Henry Adam Rentschler

Postby GOLDEN-ARM » Thu Dec 26, 2013 9:10 pm

RIP Hank. I have several personal "gifts" from hanks personal collection, and I shall treasure them always. A true scholar & gentleman, a vast wealth of knowledge is again, lost forever, :(
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Re: Obituary: Henry Adam Rentschler

Postby COEN77 » Tue Jan 07, 2014 8:47 am

GOLDEN-ARM wrote:RIP Hank. I have several personal "gifts" from hanks personal collection, and I shall treasure them always. A true scholar & gentleman, a vast wealth of knowledge is again, lost forever, :(

If memory serves me well weren't you the traveling Locomotive Engineer that working for a lot of railroads all over the country. I seem to recall the handle from when I first got on this site.
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Re: Obituary: Henry Adam Rentschler

Postby GOLDEN-ARM » Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:46 pm

COEN77 wrote:
GOLDEN-ARM wrote:RIP Hank. I have several personal "gifts" from hanks personal collection, and I shall treasure them always. A true scholar & gentleman, a vast wealth of knowledge is again, lost forever, :(

If memory serves me well weren't you the traveling Locomotive Engineer that working for a lot of railroads all over the country. I seem to recall the handle from when I first got on this site.



yes, that's me. 28 roads, and counting... :wink:
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