|
Home
Services
H.D. Oliver Funeral Apartments
1501 Colonial Avenue
Norfolk, VA 23517
(757) 622-7353
Celebration of Life
Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019
1:00 PM
Ohef Sholom Temple
530 Raleigh Avenue
Norfolk, VA
View Map
Visitation
Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
334 South Botetourt Court
Norfolk, VA
View Map
Visitation
Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
334 South Botetourt Court
Norfolk, VA
View Map
Resources
More Obituaries for Richard Waitzer
Looking for an obituary for a different person with this name?

Richard M. Waitzer


1932 - 2019 Obituary Condolences Flowers
Richard M. Waitzer Obituary
Richard Waitzer passed peacefully surrounded by his family on January 12, 2019. Born in Brooklyn in 1932 to the late Murray and Shirley Holtzman Waitzer, the family moved to Washington, DC in 1934 and Norfolk in 1936, where he spent the remainder of his life. He was educated in the Norfolk Public Schools, graduating from Maury High School in 1950. Always driven and in a hurry, he graduated from Carnegie Mellon University after only 3 years, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics, while flying home weekends to work at his father’s business.He was an ambitious, talented, and highly respected entrepreneur who was wildly successful in three disparate careers working until his last week. Days after graduation, he started working at his family’s business, Murray Wholesale Drug Corporation, managing it from the late 1950’s until its sale in 1971. In 1966, with no experience, he started a hugely successful career developing commercial and residential real estate. His initial project was the first office building in Virginia Beach devoted entirely to health care professionals and he subsequently developed all kinds of commercial and residential real estate over 50 years. The many companies he founded, and their affiliates developed thousands of residences and innumerable commercial properties. He pioneered numerous products and financing techniques and loved the development process. Finally, he began collecting art in the late 1980’s, and, through his lust for knowledge, business acumen, and foresight, became a renowned collector of art glass, and modern American art, culminating in his appointment to the acquisitions committee of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. His paintings have been featured in some of the most prestigious museums in the world. Drawn to entrepreneurship, he was a mentor to many and helped many start businesses. He never wanted recognition and sought to stay “under the radar” throughout his careers.While always generous with his time, talent, and financial resources, he preferred to remain behind the scenes rather than assume leadership roles in the many organizations he supported. He hated long meetings, always preferred action over contemplation, and said many times that he did not want to join organizations just to fill up his obituary. Notwithstanding his abhorrence of meetings, he chaired the Virginia Symphony Foundation Board, and Virginia Symphony Board, and served on the Board of the Chrysler Museum of Art. He was the consummate problem solver. He reluctantly received many awards including the Governor’s Housing Achievement Award, and, with Leah, the 2015 Humanitarian Award from the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities, and the 2018 Philanthropist of the Year from the Association of Fundraising Professionals of Hampton Roads. Extraordinarily generous, some of his charitable gifts are known only by his sons including college and private-school tuition for deserving students who miraculously received scholarships without ever applying. He gave transformative gifts to the Virginia Symphony, where he had special affection for its musicians. He funded the Waitzer Community Gallery at the Chrysler Museum of Art in addition to many other projects there. His philanthropy at Norfolk Academy included funding annual awards for teaching excellence and numerous facilities. He enthusiastically supported Eastern Virginia Medical School, where he, Leah, and sons Eddie and Brad, established the Murray H. Waitzer Endowed Chair for Diabetes Research in memory of his wonderful father. Less than two months ago, he and Leah made a historic gift for the school’s new academic, administrative, and student life building, named Waitzer Hall in their honor. At the same time, a more devoted and generous husband, father, and grandfather has never lived. Despite his enormous success in so many areas, his only real desire in life was that his three boys and grandchildren enjoy better lives than he, which set the bar very high. He never missed a game, play, recital, conference, or any other activity. He was the family math tutor, science experiment helper, driving teacher even though he was a horrible driver, and protector. He encouraged them to pursue all interests and educational opportunities and pushed them to be their best while never forgetting to enjoy the ride. He passed his love of boating to all. A devoted husband, he supported Leah’s incredible journey through life until the end, managing her health issues through his last night.He was predeceased by his parents, and his brothers Edwin and Paul. He is survived by his devoted partner in life Leah, beloved sons Eddie (Kathy), Brad (Terry), and Scott (Debbie), precious grandchildren Melanie, Jon, and Paige Waitzer, brothers and sisters-in-law Jules and Pattie Wainger, Stephen and Liza Wainger, and Valorie Waitzer, and innumerable nieces and nephews. He loved and was loved by many.The family is indebted to his devoted caregivers, Laverne Bynum and her wonderful crew.A celebration of his life will be held at 1 pm, Tuesday, January 15, 2019 at Ohef Sholom Temple, 530 Raleigh Avenue, Norfolk. The family will welcome visitors at 334 South Botetourt Court, Norfolk from 6-9 pm on Tuesday and Wednesday. Burial will be private. H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts. Norfolk Chapel is handling arrangements and online condolences may be offered to the family at hdoliver.com.In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory to the EVMS Foundation, P.O. Box 5, Norfolk, Virginia 23501-0005, or Norfolk Academy, Development Office, 1585 Wesleyan Drive, Norfolk, Virginia 23502 would be greatly appreciated.He lived fully and well and appreciated his good fortune.
Published in The Virginian Pilot on Jan. 14, 2019
Read More
Remember
Share memories or express condolences below.
Send Flowers
Give others a chance to express condolences. Not right now.
Planning Guide
Free funeral planning guide compliments of H.D. Oliver Funeral Apartments