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Long Illness Is Fatal To J. Fred Rentschler

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Long Illness Is Fatal To J. Fred Rentschler
J. Fred Rentschler, retired veteran Ann Arbor photographer, and former member of the city Board of Public Works for 20 years, died this morning at his home at 323 point.
E. Huron St., after an illness of two years. He was 71 years old.
A photographer in Ann Arbor for more than half a century, Mr. Rentschler retired two years ago because of illness. His son, Edwin, who became associated with his father in the studio in 1926, has continued the business since.
Mr. Rentschler had attained national recognition repeatedly with his photographs, hundreds of which have been selected for national salons. Mr. Rentschler had photographed five presidents of the University, beginning with President Angell, an indication of the span of his photographic work.
His civic service covering a record period also had been given public recognition with a testimonial dinner Sept. 21, 1937, at the Barton Hills Country Club. He was presented with a citation scroll calling attention to his "meritorious service so continuously and conscientiously rendered."
Appointed In 1917
Mr. Rentschler was first appointed to the Board of Public Works by Mayor Ernst Wurster in May, 1917 and served as president from Jan. 4, 1922 to May 21 1924, and from May, 1932 to May, 1934. He retired in the spring of 1937, completing two years service, a record on the board.
Many major projects were undertaken by the city and completed during his years on the board. The high level sanitary sewer and the down river sewer were built. The sewage disposal plant was erected. Many of Ann Arbor's streets were blacktopped. The Broadway bridge was built. The engineering and street departments were combined under one head.
During that 20 years of service, Mr. Rentschler devoted some time each day to the work of the board. He looked upon himself as a representative of the taxpayers and worked diligently from that standpoint.
Born In Ann Arbor
Mr. Rentschler was born June 3, 1868, in Ann Arbor. He attended the public schools, after which he served his apprenticeship in photography with the firm of Lewis & Gibson. In 1890, Mr. Rentschler established his own business at Main and Huron Sts., moving to the present location at 319 E. Huron St., in 1904.
He was a past president and past treasurer of the Indiana, Michigan and Ohio association, and was a member of the international association of photographers. He had served for a number of years on the jury making the selection of pictures for national awards.
Mr. Rentschler was affiliated with various fraternal and service organizations locally. He was accorded a signal honor last night when he was re-elected president of the Elks Benefit association as a special tribute to his work. He was exalted ruler of the Elks in 1915.
Mr. Rentschler was a member of the Chamber of Commerce, the Exchange club, Forest Hill cemetery board, Order of the Eastern Star, the Maccabees, Huron Hills Golf club and the Michigan Union.
He was married to Jessie Doane of Dexter on Feb. 22, 1898, and they celebrated their fortieth wedding anniversary two years ago. He is survived by his wife; a son, Edwin D. of this city; two daughters, Mrs. Ralph Francis of Detroit and Mrs. Malcolm McCort of Coldwater; a grandson, J. F. Rentschler II of Ann Arbor; a brother, Christian, of Lansing; and two sisters, Mrs. George V. Stoll of Ann Arbor and Mrs. John Gerrity of Chicago.
Funeral services will be held at 3 o'clock Saturday afternoon at the Muehlig chapel with Rev. Leonard A. Parr officiating. Burial will be in Forest Hill cemetery. Friends may call at the chapel.
Pallbearers will be William L. Walz, City Engineer George H. Sandenburgh, Edward W. Staebler, J. Fred Staebler, A. S. Lyndon, Walter Knapp, A. C. Pack and Julius Haarer.