The Rev. Gerald “Jerry” Reiter, Emeritus, 89, of Marquette, Mich., and Beaufort, passed away Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020, at Carteret Health Care in Morehead City.
Her funeral service is at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Noe-Brooks Funeral Home, officiated by the Rev. James Daub. Burial will take place at a later date in Marquette. Due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, masks and social distancing will be required. For those who cannot attend in person, the service will be livestreamed on the Noe Funeral Service Facebook page or by visiting fb.me/e/1OBierfl5.
Jerry was born in Chicago, Ill., and grew up in Marquette. Growing up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Jerry spent his free time hunting, fishing and hiking in the woods and enjoying the beauty that surrounded him. This led to a natural draw to wildlife management, in which he earned his bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University.
He married Carol Beth Boyd in October 1954, with whom he recently celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary. Jerry joined the U.S. Army during the Korean War, where he served as an MP. After his Army service, Jerry returned to Michigan State, where he earned his MBA. For the next five years he worked for Standard Oil Co., during which time he and Carol met many lifelong friends.
In 1961, Jerry moved his family to Arlington, Va., to launch a new business with Carol’s father and brothers. Jerry built and served as president of Combustion Products Distributors Corp. for 20 years. Jerry and Carol raised their three children in Arlington and Fairfax, Va., and were active members of Our Savior Lutheran Church in Arlington and Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Springfield, Va.
In 1981, Jerry sold their home and business, and he and Carol left for Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Ind. He earned his master’s in divinity and was ordained in 1984. He served as associate pastor at Holy Nativity Lutheran Church in Arbutus, Md., just outside Baltimore, Md., as senior pastor at Christ Lutheran Church in Troy, N.H., and interim pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Keene, N.H., and finally as senior pastor at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Aiken, S.C. He loved the Lord and his ministry – sharing duties with Carol all along the way. He served as a Lutheran minister for 30 years before retiring in 2015 to Beaufort for the winters and Marquette for the summers.
No matter where life led him, Marquette always called him home. His love of the “Arbutus” AKA “Camp” was his happy place. Jerry loved to tell stories to anyone who came to visit, laughing and joking about his childhood days, playing cribbage, watching the wildlife in the woods and enjoying a beautiful sunset over Lake Superior. He could also be found cheering on the Michigan State Spartans basketball and football teams.
He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Carol Boyd Reiter; children, Kurt Reiter and wife Jean of Charleston, S.C., Kim Taylor Ragland and husband Greg of Berryville, Va., and Valerie Peterson Magnotto and husband Mike of Beaufort; grandchildren, Jason Peterson and wife Alex, Nicole Reiter Atkinson and husband Andrew, Kyle Peterson, Ashley Reiter, Brittany Peterson, Jessica Taylor, Kendall Reiter Flaherty and husband Jacob, Christian Reiter and Jeremy Peterson and wife Leanna; stepgrandchildren, Skip Frazzano and wife Cece, Lisa Taylor, Rachel DeLuca and Michael DeLuca; great-grandchildren, Olivia Peterson, Sondra Peterson, Lilliana Taylor and Atlas Atkinson; brother, Richard Reiter and wife Carol; sisters-in-law, Lydia Boyd, Betty Boyd and Laura Boyd; and a host of nieces, nephews and extended family.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Alfred and Prudence Reiter nee Arndt.
The family will receive friends an hour prior to the service at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to Lutherans for Life, a ministry that held a special place in Jerry’s heart and which he actively supported for many years, online at lutheransforlife.org/donate.
Arrangements are by Noe Funeral Service Inc. of Beaufort. Condolences and life tributes may be sent to the family at www.noefs.net.