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Richard W. Reiter

by Susan J. Ainsworth
April 20, 2015 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 93, Issue 16

Richard W. Reiter, 90, a National Starch & Chemical executive, died at home in Plainfield, N.J., on Aug. 6, 2014, after suffering from dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease.

Born in Tarrytown, N.Y., Reiter attended Wheaton College in Illinois, but his education was interrupted when he served as an engineering officer in the Navy in both the Atlantic and Pacific Theaters during World War II. After being honorably discharged, he returned to Wheaton College and received a B.S. in chemistry in 1947.

He then began a 41-year career at National Starch & Chemical. Initially, he researched polymeric adhesives, binders, and coatings for a wide variety of manufacturing uses; that work resulted in a number of patents and publications.

Later, in addition to assuming roles in licensing, technology transfer, and market research, he served as vice president of the firm’s advanced chemical technology group. He also conducted research on polyimides for electronic coatings and carbon fiber composites.

He was a longtime member of a number of trade organizations, including the Technological Association of the Pulp & Paper Industry, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, and the Society for the Advancement of Material & Process Engineering. Reiter was an emeritus member of ACS, joining in 1947.

Reiter’s wife of 69 years, Lenore, predeceased him in 2014. He is survived by his daughters, Linda Lyons, Marsha Pila­chowski, and Lisa Ousouljoglou; sons, Lawrence and Clifford; 14 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

Obituary notices of no more than 300 words may be sent to Susan J. Ainsworth at and should include an educational and professional history.


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