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GLENN RAITZ, 1931-2017

Longtime lawyer put home, family before his career

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Raitz

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Glenn Raitz, a lawyer whose career took him from the Pentagon to First National Bank of Toledo, died at his home in South Toledo on Thursday. He was 86.

Mr. Raitz had a history of heart problems, but his death was unexpected and the immediate cause remains unclear, his daughter Sherry Raitz said.

A longtime local attorney, Mr. Raitz worked at three Toledo firms and served as senior trust officer and corporate secretary at First National Bank of Toledo, now known as Fifth Third Bank. But he never let professional responsibilities interfere with his home life: He ate dinner with his wife and children almost every night.

“Once he was home, that was family time,” Ms. Raitz said. “When the phone would ring and it would be business, he would say, ‘I can’t talk right now.’”

Born on May 28, 1931, Mr. Raitz grew up in South Toledo during the Great Depression. In high school, he worked paving roads, making more money per hour than his father, a factory worker.

A talented third-baseman in high school, Mr. Raitz tried out for the St. Louis Cardinals, but didn’t make the team. Instead, he served in the Marines, preparing documents for meetings of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Mr. Raitz — whose older brother Edward was killed during World War II — used to joke that in those years he learned more about the Korean War from an office overlooking the Pentagon than did any Americans who actually fought there, his daughter Rebecca Darche said.

A year after joining the Marines, Mr. Raitz married his high school sweetheart, Evelyn, whom he’d met at a local dance hall in Toledo.

Family always came first for Mr. Raitz, but the community where he learned to hunt and fish as a child was a close second. In the 1950s, he turned down a military promotion that would have kept him on the East Coast so that he could raise his children in his hometown.

“He said, ‘I want to go home,’ and he came back home,” his son John Raitz said. “He said it was the best decision he made in his life.”

Back in northwest Ohio, Mr. Raitz earned a law degree from the University of Toledo in 1963. He coached his children’s sports teams and played baseball in a local adult league.

As a real estate and trust lawyer, he earned a reputation for diligence and composure.

“He was a very smart guy, but a lot of people are smart,” said Lucas County Common Pleas Judge James Bates, who used to play golf with Mr. Raitz on weekends. “He was very calm and collected and never got upset. He had a calming influence on his clients.”

Mr. Raitz was preceded in death by his wife, who died March 10, 1985.

Surviving are his daughters, Sheryl Raitz and Rebecca Darche; sons, John and Robert; brother, Paul; sisters, Shirley Vogelsang, Norma Gibbons, and Carol Meek, and eight grandchildren.

Visitation was held Monday at the Coyle Funeral Home. The funeral will begin at Coyle at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Tributes can be made to the American Cancer Society.

 

Contact David Yaffe-Bellany at: dbellany@theblade.com, or 419-724-6050.

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