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Hamilton, OH 45013
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Thomas B. Rentschler

1932 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Thomas B. Rentschler Obituary

Thomas Beckett, age 84, Hamilton died October 25, 2016 at Hospice of Cincinnati, Hamilton Inpatient Care Center, after a brief illness. He was born in Hamilton, OH in 1932 and was a lifelong resident. His early schooling was in Fairfield Township and Hamilton City Schools. He received his college education at Quaker-founded Haverford College in Pennsylvania, graduating with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering. After college he volunteered into the Navy, serving two years' active duty associated with a SeaBee unit as an instructor and examiner at the U.S. Naval Training Center, Bainbridge, Maryland. After returning to Ohio, Rentschler was employed at the Fifth Third Union Trust (now Fifth Third Bank), Cincinnati, primarily in installment and commercial loan administration. He began his career in Hamilton at The Citizens Bank, and was ultimately named President, Chief Executive Officer and Director. After selling the bank in 1982, Rentschler remained for one year to steer the transition. While active as a banker he sought and was successfully elected to the Ohio House of Representatives as a Republican for two terms, representing the district, which was then the southern half of Butler County. He served on several select and standing committees. He also helped establish, with William Saxby, the-then Ohio Attorney General, the Ohio Crime Commission, where he served as a member throughout its existence. Tom Rentschler was widely associated with civic, community, and charitable activities; especially the Boys' and Girls' Club of Hamilton where he headed the efforts to raise funds and then build the club on East Avenue, and later the club on Grand Boulevard. He was the Executive Director of the Hamilton Bicentennial Commission, which selected and subsequently raised the funding for the Fitton Center for Creative Arts as Hamilton's major Bicentennial (1791-1991) celebration legacy. He subsequently served on the Board of Governors of the Fitton Center. He was unassuming, yet strong to express his well-thought-out and reasonable opinions, always loyal to his word, friends and family, quietly generous and willing to dedicate himself to his community and America's wondrous history and its future. At various times Rentschler was active with United Way, both City of Hamilton and Butler County Boards of Zoning Appeals, Eugene Hughes Memorial Hospital Board, many bankers' associations, the US Department of Energy Fernald Citizens Task Force, Rotary, the Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, board member, treasurer and life member of the Ohio Historical Society, Sons of the American Revolution, Society of Colonial Wars, chairman and coordinator of the restoration committee for the Lane-Hooven House, now home of the Hamilton Community Foundation, Jaycees' One of Five Outstanding Young Men of Ohio, early recipient of the Hamilton Junior Achievement Butler County Business Hall of Fame Award, and on the board of Hamilton's Historic Greenwood Cemetery Association; he was active in the National Rifle Association, American Society of Bayonet Collectors, The National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association, The Association of Ohio Long Rifle Collectors, the Contemporary Longrifle Association, and The Ohio Gun Collectors Association, and was a life-long member of the Queen City Club. An inveterate antiquarian and historian, Rentschler researched, authored and had published scores of articles in specialized fields in national-circulation magazines and journals, including the RIFLEMAN, the magazine of the National Rifle Association. He authored two books based on original research, each highly acclaimed by nationally recognized reviewers, including the definitive history of the Cosmopolitan and Gwynn & Campbell carbines manufactured in Hamilton during the Civil War. His research was focused mainly on American antiques, arms, soldiering, and cavalry in the Civil War. Rentschler was a multi-term member and President of the Miami Conservancy District, the fourth of his family in these capacities since the District's founding following the great flood of 1913. The Miami Conservancy District is the nation's pioneering and example-setting flood control and groundwater agency. From its core mission of flood protection, to water research and education, to recreational amenities along the rivers' edge, the Miami Conservancy District continues to provide quality-of-life improvements to the Great Miami River Valley. He retired from that board in 2011 after 29 years of service. He was succeeded by his son, Mark Rentschler. Mr. Rentschler was proprietor of Blue Hills Farm. There, once tattered croplands, and over- grazed pastures are managed to maintain select areas as an active hay-crop farm while also stabilizing virgin woodlands, rebuilding Ohio-type prairies, all of which are creating a fledging natural preserve. He was married to his sweetheart, Dorothy "Dody" Grevey, in 1954, and they enjoyed 50-plus years of a solid and fulfilling marriage. Mrs. Rentschler died in 2004; she was an Episcopalian and a member of the Episcopalian Order, Daughters of the King. She was acclaimed in South Carolina and Ohio as a creative gardener. Tom and Dody Rentschler were parishioners of Trinity Episcopal Church, Hamilton. He leaves two sons, Thomas Beckett Rentschler Jr., and his wife Julie with three children, Thomas III, Abigail, and Anna; Mark Grevey Rentschler and his wife, Cindy with four children, Catherine, Emily and her husband Brandon Cannada, Adam, and Mary Margaret. Rentschler's parents Walter A. and Edith Beckett Rentschler preceded him. His brother Henry A. Rentschler of the Philadelphia area preceded him, and Tom leaves his sister Elizabeth and her husband Nicholas Melnick of Florida as well as many friends, business associates, nieces, nephews, and other close relatives. Memorials may be given Hamilton Community Foundation for the Greenwood Cemetery Fund, 319 North 3rd Street, Hamilton OH 45011 or the . Visitation will be at Weigel Funeral Home, 980 N.W. Washington Blvd. Hamilton, 45013 on Saturday, October 29 at 10:00 AM followed by the service at 11:00 AM. Burial will immediately follow at Hamilton's historic Greenwood Cemetery. Condolences may be addressed to
Published in The Cincinnati Enquirer on Oct. 27, 2016
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