Karl, “with a K”, Reuther at age 90 minus 1, went to play Pickleball with Jesus on Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021.
He was born July 18, 1932, in Akron, Ohio, to the late Karl Albert and Martha Amalia (Hunsicker) Reuther. He is survived by his spouse Dr. Gayle A. Galan of 38 years. During his life Karl resided in Akron and then Marietta, Ohio.
He is also survived by his three children, Karl Reuther II of Akron, OH, Tara Winslow of Inland Land, SC, and Keith (Sandy) Reuther of Mancelona, MI. He was a wonderful Opa, loved by his 11 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren.
Karl was a proud graduate of the Western Reserve Academy (WRA) where his legacy was carried on by his two sons and two of his grandchildren. Karl graduated with honors in 1951 and then went to MIT, graduating with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. At MIT, he took up his life-long love for skiing and snowboarding which he passed on to his family and many of his friends. While volunteering as a ski patrolman at the Boston Mills ski resort, Karl patented an innovative fracture splint to help the injured that he served.
Karl set a great example for staying active throughout his life. At the beginning of his athletic pursuits, he played baseball, basketball and soccer, along with many family soccer games on Sunday afternoon! He became an accomplished Cyclist, Golfer, Skier, Snowboarder, Windsurfer, Pickleball player, and a CrossFit champion up to age 89. (#BeLikeKarl). Karl was featured on National CrossFit media and received 2.3 million views of his five 2019 CrossFit Open workouts. Karl was an Ohio State Racquetball Champion 5 years in a row. His motto was “Never let your work interfere with your workout.”
Karl was always available to pass on his knowledge of his sports and taught fitness classes at the Cuyahoga Falls YMCA. Karl left a tremendous legacy at the YMCA. While Karl led Spin classes at the Y, he taught about God’s Faithfulness and unending Love. He taught his participants that they could change their lives if they had initiative and worked hard. The Y chose Karl to carry the Olympic Torch through Akron in 1984. Karl was a Senior Olympic Champion in Biking and Racquetball and was honored to be a flag bearer for the State of Ohio at the National Senior Olympic Games.
After MIT, Karl was in the Army Ordinance Corp at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland, as a ROTC 2nd Lieutenant and then joined the family business. He began at Reuther Mold & Mfg. in September 1950 when his dad started the Company. Over his 50+ year career, Karl was not afraid to get his hands dirty and inspired his three children in many ways while they worked at Reuther Mold.
Mechanical Engineering was his true love and the favorite part of his work. His designs were a wonderful amalgamation of practical, functional, and economical. He would often visit customers around Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan, sometimes piloting a small Cessna plane.
In the 70s, Karl succeeded his father as President of Reuther Mold while the business was facing challenges industry wide. Karl took this opportunity to expand into other markets. Under his leadership the Company started working with Boeing and the greater aerospace market and added to Reuther Mold a fabrication and general machining operation of large industrial fans. Continuing his entrepreneurial spirit into the 80s, Karl added a satellite mold shop and a rubber molding operation in Indiana.
In 1987, Reuther Mold had over 150 employees, and Karl brought employee ownership to Reuther Mold. Karl served as President/Chairman of both major National ESOP organizations simultaneously and was asked to speak at numerous companies and conferences. He fashioned the Company’s ESOP into one of the most progressive ones in United States. Reuther Mold had employees who served on the board of directors (elected by their peers), a profit-sharing plan and shared financial information. One of his greatest legacies was the care he took instructing workers about company finances that lead to his Illustrated Financials published by INC. magazine. He received the Local Businessman of the Year Award for Cuyahoga Falls and the Akron, Man of the Year Award.
In the 90s Karl taught, guided, and successfully coached Karl II, his son, to take over Reuther Mold. Karl was pleased that the company continues to flourish under his son’s direction.
He received the Hunsicker Family Service to Youth Award, which demonstrates the Y’s core values of caring, honesty, respect, responsibility, and faith with an ultimate focus on service to children within the community. He served on the YMCA Board of Trustees for six years and three years as Board Chair. He supplied the leadership to finance, rehabilitate and reopen the main Akron YMCA. Along with Dr. Gayle Galan, he raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Y, if not millions, for various projects. Karl was a prominent lifetime member of Silver Lake Country Club.
Karl had a passion to inspire youth. He received the Kent Education Association Award for creative vision and innovative leadership in establishing and funding the Reuther Ropes to Success Program for troubled teens at Roosevelt High School for over five years.
It must be said that he LOVED Pickleball. He encouraged many to be involved with the sport and a wonderful community developed. He was a true Pickleball trainer — even training Dr. Gayle. With his leadership, he and others worked to establish 18 pickleball courts throughout the Marietta community. They influenced Marietta City to add courts at Lookout Park and Indian Acres. He was an equity member at the Marietta Country Club and initiated and funded several significant improvements, including three beautiful pickleball courts.
Karl generously supported missions in many countries with funds, goods, and prayer. Since 2001 he shipped six containers filled with needed supplies to Liberia, West Africa. He was such an experienced “Load Master” that he helped Freedom Gate Church in Marietta Ohio organize and ship containers to North Korea.
Karl was very influential in his support and level of giving to the Marietta Community Foundation. Through his leadership by example, others have also increased their support of their own community.
Karl was a leader within the 912 MOVCAC Community, actively supporting truth and freedom for our country at the local level. He demonstrated the power of hope through his faith and his willingness to act! He knew that if he could connect the right people together, with faith in God, great things could be accomplished.
He made friends wherever he went. Karl received the “Most Supportive Spouse Award” at Marietta Memorial Hospital due to his support of Dr. Gayle and his friendships with many of her colleagues and coworkers. He was beyond generous, loved and respected by many. He loved to brighten a person’s day with his kindness, his smile, the simple gift of a rose or a cup of coffee. Life was his adventure and he lived it fully without regret. Such a good man will be deeply missed by his family and friends.
One of Karl’s customers honored him with a quote from Isaac Newton: “‘If I have seen further than others, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.’ Karl, you are a giant and have given that vision to see farther to so many, including me, and I am grateful.”
Calling hours will be held at Cawley & Peoples Funeral Home on Front Street in Marietta, Ohio, on Oct. 29, 2021, from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. On Oct. 30, 2021, a visitation will begin at 1 p.m. with a celebration of life service at 2 p.m. at the Freedom Gate Church on Tennis Center Drive, Marietta, Ohio.
Please consider a contribution in Karl’s memory to Memorial Health Foundation. Gifts can be made online at https://foundation.mhsystem.org/ or a check made payable to Memorial Health Foundation, PO Box 112, Marietta, OH 45750.
Cawley & Peoples is honored to serve Karl’s family and offers online condolences as well as many other resources by visiting their website, CawleyandPeoples.com or by going to their Facebook page.