Danbury CT ~ Brookfield CT
Richard F. Gretsch Sr.
June 14, 1908 - May 22, 2010
Richard F. Gretsch, Sr., Connecticut Industrialist Dies at Age 101.
GRETSCH, Richard Francis, Sr. age 101, of Danbury, (long-time resident of Newtown) died on Saturday, May 22nd. Born June 14, 1908 in Brooklyn, NY. The last surviving grandson of Friedrich Gretsch, the founder of The Fred Gretsch Manufacturing Company, renowned manufacturer of professional drums and guitars. Dick Gretsch graduated from the University of Michigan as president of the Engineering class of 1930 and earned a law degree from St. John’s Law School.
In 1942 he served as Captain in the Ordinance Department of the Army Corps of Engineers where he supervised lighting installations for the national implementation of the Army War Show, a multi-branch military endeavor to garner support for US war efforts. He met Lt. Barbara Jean Ininger at the Pentagon and they married in Washington, DC in 1943. Upon completion of his military service, he joined a utility company in CT that after several mergers became Connecticut Light & Power Company from which he retired, as Division Manager, in 1973.
Throughout his career he was actively involved in area development serving on numerous corporate boards and as chairman of the Board of Directors of the Housatonic Industrial Development Corporation in Danbury, CT. In 1988 he was awarded the Connecticut Developer of the Year Award by the Northeastern Industrial Developers Association, and in 2004 received the Charles E. Wrinn Economic Development Award, both for his contributions in attracting industry to Danbury.
He was predeceased by his wife Jean and daughter Patricia and his brothers Fred, Jr and William. He is survived by his sons Fred and Richard, and daughters Barbara Schmidt, Carol Gretsch, Stacy Murphy, Judith Getchell, and Molly Lynch, twelve grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, one nephew and four nieces.
The family will receive friends at The Cornell Memorial Home, 247 White Street, Danbury, CT from 5 PM to 7 PM on Thursday, June 3rd.
A mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 11 AM on Friday, June 4th at St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church, 46 Church Hill Road, Newtown, CT. Interment in Newtown’s Village Cemetery will follow the service.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Danbury Visiting Nurse Association, 4 Liberty Street, Danbury, CT 06811.