Larry C. Stalter, 1937-2013: Engineer spent most of career at Davis-Besse


Larry C. Stalter, an electrical engineer assigned for much of his Toledo Edison career to the then-new Davis-Besse nuclear power station near Oak Harbor, died Friday in Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center, Toledo. He was 76.

He had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, often called Lou Gehrig's disease, a neurological condition. He and his wife, Donna, had been at their summer home in Port Clinton when he went to the hospital. They moved in 2005 from West Toledo to Powell, Ohio.

Mr. Stalter retired from Toledo Edison and Davis-Besse in the early 1990s after 27 years. He was among those selected early from Toledo Edison and Cleveland Electric Illuminating to work at the nuclear plant.

“He liked the challenge and wanted to be on the edge of something new,” his wife said. “He believed in what they were doing to help the power situation in the United States. He still did until his dying day.”

For much of his time at Davis-Besse, he was the plant technical engineer, a department head-level position under the plant manager, said Terry Murray, a mechanical engineer at the plant. Mr. Stalter oversaw the instrument and control section. He knew theory — and how to apply it.

“He had a lot of practical experience with electronic and electrical equipment,” Mr. Murray said.

Mr. Stalter commuted daily, whatever the weather.

“We as a family didn’t realize what he was doing until the plant was finished,” his wife said. “He took us on a tour, and we were very impressed.”

Later duties included upgrading simulator and instrumentation systems, Mr. Murray said.

Mr. Stalter also was a licensed professional engineer and, in retirement, worked for Billy Sadler and Sadler and Associates in Luckey, which investigated how fires started, mostly for insurance companies.

“As soon as the fire department got out, they had to go in,” his wife said. “His expertise was whether it was caused from an electrical situation, an appliance.”

Afterward, he was called on to testify as an expert witness in legal proceedings.

In 2005, after the couple moved, he formed Stalter Engineering Services and did much of the same work.

He was born May 1, 1937, in Cincinnati to Alverta and Chet Stalter. He was a 1956 graduate of Dayton Fairview High School and was an Army veteran. An early job was as a troubleshooting technician in Los Angeles for National Cash Register.

He later received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineer from the University of Toledo. He took post-graduate courses at the University of Michigan.

Fishing from his boat was his favorite pastime, and he successfully navigated classes that led to his being licensed as a Great Lakes captain. He organized annual salmon fishing trips in Lake Michigan and gently led the novices who were among his passengers, recalled Mr. Murray, a participant the last decade.

“He was the teacher. I was the student. He was unbelievably patient,” Mr. Murray said. “I could screw up and do something stupid. It never bothered him. He’d show you how to fix it and keep on going.”

Mr. Stalter had a woodworking shop at home and was a season ticketholder the last half-century for Ohio State sports teams.

He was a member of professional organizations and the Moose Lodge in Port Clinton.

He was a former member of Hampton Park Christian Church, Toledo.

Surviving are his wife, Donna Stalter, whom he married Aug. 25, 1962; son, Matthew Stalter; daughter, Stacy Hathaway; brothers, Dr. William and Richard Stalter, and five grandchildren.

Memorial services will be at 1 p.m. Sunday in Liberty Presbyterian Church, Delaware, Ohio, where he was a member. Arrangements are by the Schoedinger Worthington Chapel, Worthington, Ohio.

The family suggests tributes to the ALS Association’s Columbus Walk to Defeat ALS in care of his team, Reel Fun, through

Contact Mark Zaborney at: or 419-724-6182.