Thursday, September 05, 2002

Obituary: West side mourns W.J. Seitz

Lifelong resident was community-minded

By Rebecca Billman,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        DELHI TOWNSHIP — William J. Seitz Jr. was a west side icon.

        Or as his friend, Chuck Patterson of Westwood said when he learned of Mr. Seitz's death, “Bill Seitz is Mount Rushmore.”

        Mr. Seitz, 76, died Sunday after a short illness. Three weeks ago he was riding a Jet Ski and walking 18 holes on a golf course in Chicago.

        “Dad exemplified the best characteristics of the west side -- intense loyalty to family, devoted commitment to the church, a humble, quiet and constant participation in community service,” said his son, State Rep. Bill Seitz of Delhi Township.

        While the senior Mr. Seitz was an officer of the Overlook Savings and Loan Co., the bank never made a foreclosure and “often indulged homeowners who couldn't pay their loans in full,” his son said.

        “They never made much money, but they remained profitable when all the high-flyers lost boatloads in the 1970s.”

        Mr. Seitz grew up in Price Hill on the site of the Covedale Branch of the Public Library. His boyhood home was built on the former potato field of the farm that had been in his family since the mid-1800s.

        A member of the Western Hills High School Class of 1943, Mr. Seitz served with the Army Air Corps in western China during World War II. After the war, he received a degree in civil engineering from the University of Cincinnati, where he was a member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity.

        He served as an engineering supervisor at Cincinnati Gas & Electric, where he was a member of the speakers bureau, from 1950 until 1987 and worked as office manager of Kenmarc Electrical Contractors until his death.

        “Dad lived for and through his family,” said his son. “He was patient, generous and unselfish.

        “Remembering the example set by his sister, who gave up her college funds so that Dad could afford college, he paid his grandchildren's way through college.”

        “Probably because his family was too poor to do much vacationing when he was a child, he really enjoyed family vacations and travel as an adult. Every year since 1981 the whole family has spent time together at Fripp Island, S.C., where Dad paid for the beach house for many years.”

        In addition to being on the board of directors of Overlook Savings and Loan before its merger with Centennial Savings, Mr. Seitz was treasurer of WestFed Food Pantry, a board member of the Western Hills High School Foundation, a president of the Oak Hills Swim and Racquet Club, and an elder, deacon and trustee of Westwood First Presbyterian Church.

        After retirement, he was on the board of the Cheviot-Westwood Kiwanis Club and a tutor at Westwood Elementary.

        In addition to his son, Bill, survivors include his wife of 52 years, Laverne Seitz; a daughter, Mary Beth Baverman of Covedale; another son, James C. Seitz of St. Louis, Mo.; a sister, Mary Lou Heiden of Finneytown; and six grandchildren.

        Visitation is 9:30-10:45 a.m. today followed by the funeral at 11 a.m. at Westwood First Presbyterian Church, 3011 Harrison Ave. Burial is at Spring Grove Cemetery.

        Memorials: Westwood First Presbyterian Church Organ Restoration Fund, 3011 Harrison Ave., Cincinnati 45211 or a charity of the donor's choice.


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