Obituary: Reuther, Karl


Karl, “with a K”, Reuther at 90 minus 1, went to play Pickleball with Jesus on Sunday, October 17, 2021.

He was born on July 18, 1932 in Akron, Ohio, to the late Karl Albert and Martha Amalia (Hunsicker) Reuther. He is survived by his wife Dr Gayle A. Galan, 38 years old. During his life, Karl resided in Akron and then in 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 his 4 great grandchildren.

Karl was a proud graduate of 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, then went to MIT, where he earned a degree in mechanical engineering. At MIT, he resumed his lifelong love for skiing and snowboarding which he passed on to his family and several of his friends. While volunteering as a ski patroller at the Boston Mills Ski Resort, Karl patented an innovative fracture splint to help the injured he treated.

Karl set a good example to stay active throughout his life. At the start of his sports activities, he played baseball, basketball and soccer, as well as many family soccer games on Sunday afternoons! He became an accomplished cyclist, golfer, skier, snowboarder, windsurfer, pickleball player and CrossFit champion until the age of 89. (#BeLikeKarl). Karl was featured on National CrossFit media and received 2.3 million views from his five 2019 CrossFit Open workouts. Karl was the Ohio State Racquetball Champion for 5 years in a row. His motto was “Never let your job interfere with your training.”

Karl was always available to impart his knowledge of his sports and taught fitness classes at the YMCA of Cuyahoga Falls. Karl left a tremendous legacy at the YMCA. While Karl led Spin classes at the Y, he taught about God’s faithfulness and endless love. He taught his participants that they could change their lives if they had the initiative and worked hard. The Y chose Karl to carry the Olympic torch in Akron in 1984. Karl was a senior Olympic cycling and racquetball champion and was honored to be the Ohio State Flag Bearer at the Senior National Olympics .

After MIT, Karl was in the Army Ordinance Corps at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland, as an ROTC Second Lieutenant, then joined the family business. He started at Reuther Mold & Mfg. in September 1950, when his father founded the company. During his 50-plus-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 job. His designs were a wonderful amalgamation of practicality, functionality and economy. He often visited clients in Ohio, Indiana and Michigan, sometimes flying a small Cessna plane.

In the 1970s, Karl took over from his father as President of Reuther Mold as the company faced industry-wide challenges. Karl seized this opportunity to expand into other markets. Under his leadership, the company began working with Boeing and the large aerospace market and added to Reuther Mold a manufacturing and general machining operation of large industrial fans. Continuing his entrepreneurial spirit in the 1980s, Karl added a satellite molding shop and rubber molding operation in Indiana.

In 1987, Reuther Mold had over 150 employees and Karl brought employee ownership to Reuther Mold. Karl has been simultaneously president / chairman of the two major national ESOP organizations and has been invited to speak at numerous companies and conferences. He shaped the company’s ESOP into one of the most progressive in the United States. Reuther Mold had employees who sat on the board (elected by their peers), an incentive plan and shared financial information. One of his greatest legacies was the care he took in training workers on company finances, which led him to Illustrated finance published by INC magazine. He received the Local Businessman of the Year Award for Cuyahoga Falls and the Akron Award, Man of the Year.

In the 90s Karl taught, guided and successfully trained Karl II, his son, to take over Reuther Mold. Karl was happy that the business continued to thrive under the leadership of his son.

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 serving children within the community. He served on the YMCA Board of Directors for 6 years and 3 years as Chairman of the Board. He provided leadership to fund, rehabilitate and reopen Akron’s main YMCA. Along with Dr. Gayle Galan, he has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Y, if not millions, for various projects. Karl was a distinguished life member of the Silver Lake Country Club.

Karl had a passion for inspiring young people. He received the Kent Education Association Award for his creative vision and innovative leadership in creating and funding the Reuther Ropes to Success program for troubled teens at Roosevelt High School for over 5 years.

It must be said that he LOVED Pickleball. He encouraged many people to get involved in the sport and a wonderful community grew. He was a real Pickleball coach – he even coached Dr. Gayle. With his leadership, he and others worked to establish 18 pickleball courts throughout the community of Marietta. They influenced Marietta City to add courts to Lookout Park and Indian Acres. He was an equity member at the Marietta Country Club and initiated and funded several major upgrades including 3 beautiful pickleball courts.

Karl generously supported missions in many countries with funds, goods and prayers. Since 2001, it has shipped six containers full of necessary supplies to Liberia, West Africa. He was such a seasoned “loadmaster” 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 donation to the Marietta Community Foundation. Through his leadership by example, others have also increased their support for their own communities.

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 will 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 everywhere he went. Karl received the “Most Supportive Spouse Award” at Marietta Memorial Hospital for his support of Dr Gayle and for his friendships with many of his colleagues and co-workers. He was more than generous, loved and respected by many. He loved to brighten up a person’s day with their kindness, their 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 sadly missed by his family and friends.

One of Karl’s clients honored him with a quote from Isaac Newton: “’If I have seen beyond the others, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.’ Karl, you are a giant and you have given this vision to see further to so many people, including me, and I am grateful.

Call hours will be at Cawley & Peoples Funeral Home on Front Street in Marietta, Ohio on October 29, 2021, 2-4 and 6-8. On October 30, 2021, a visitation will begin at 1:00 p.m. with a 2 p.m. service of life celebration at Freedom Gate Church on Tennis Center Drive, Marietta, Ohio.

Please consider a contribution in memory of Karl to the Memorial Health Foundation. Gifts can be made online at or check payable to Memorial Health Foundation, PO Box 112, Marietta, OH 45750.

Cawley & Peoples are honored to serve Karl’s family and offer condolences online as well as many other resources by visiting their website, or by going to their Facebook page.

Copyright 2021 WTAP. All rights reserved.

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