McCOMB, Ohio — Fritz G. Meyer, 91, a business leader who was a co-founder of Consolidated Biscuit Co. here, died Tuesday at Riverside Methodist Hospital, Columbus.
He had been in Blanchard Valley Hospital when he transferred to Riverside for a special procedure, but he basically died of old age, said his daughter Sigrid Like.
Along with business partner G.H. Digman, Mr. Meyer co-founded Consolidated Biscuit in 1962. It has since become McComb's largest employer and one of the biggest in Hancock County, with a payroll exceeding 1,000.
Mr. Digman had sponsored Mr. Meyer’s family when it immigrated to the United States in 1955 from his native Germany, where Ms. Like said her father had obtained a master’s degree and had been an engineer and machinist.
Mr. Meyer, his wife, Else, and their two daughters, Sigrid and Marion, lived in Cincinnati and Terre Haute, Ind., while Mr. Meyer learned the cookie business. Mr. Digman then approached him with the idea of starting their own bakery.
“They looked at Ottawa and several other areas, and they chose McComb because of the rail lines, the access to the interstate [highway], and because the area is very strong in wheat and sugar, so the raw goods were close at hand,” Ms. Like said.
The daughter said it had been quite a culture shock for her to move to the small town after living in bigger cities, but she grew to love McComb and still lives there with her husband.
Mr. Meyer sold his interest in Continental Biscuit and retired during the 1980s.
McComb Mayor Robert Schwab said that besides building his own business, Mr. Meyer helped develop other parts of the community but preferred not to draw attention to himself.
“He was very instrumental in bringing a pharmacy here when we were in dire need of one” and also was involved with a local restaurant’s opening, the mayor recounted. “He was very instrumental in a lot of things, but he was one of these people who never wanted to be recognized.”
The mayor described Mr. Meyer as smart and hard-working, generous, and liked “by most everybody in town.”
“He was one of those people that just don’t come along very often,” Mr. Schwab said.
Tragedy visited the family when Mr. Meyer’s only son, Norbert, who was born in McComb, died at age 11 in a freak accident that occurred while playing football with a friend.
“It was very hard. It took a lot of years to get over it but my parents’ generation was different,” Ms. Like said. “They just got past it. They had to.”
Ms. Like said her father was grateful to have the opportunity to move to the United States.
“He was a very giving, quiet, and humble man. He was a very hard worker. He wouldn’t expect anybody to work harder than he did,” she said.
Mr. Meyer is survived by his wife, Else; daughters, Marion Meyer and Sigrid Lake; five grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be from 3 to 8 p.m. Saturday in the Hartley Funeral Home, McComb, while a funeral service will start at 1:30 p.m. Sunday in the mortuary.
The family suggests tributes to M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis.