Heintzelman Funeral Home co-owner and Supervisor Robert Heintzelman spoke with The Press about Harold Reitz’s decades of service.
“His work ethic was second to none,” Heintzelman said. “He started at 7:10 a.m. for 8 a.m. and never left when he was supposed to. He said he would stop when his work was done.”
Heintzelman said Reitz, who recently retired, loved what he did.
“He was an integral part of everything we had going here,” Heintzelman said. “We gave him the fancy title ‘director of property management.’
“Our properties are so well-maintained. Harold was the epicenter of all that. He knows every inch of the place.”
Heintzelman noted that Reitz returns about once a week when they may have questions.
“He has a plethora of knowledge about the workings and mechanical items we have to take care of on a daily basis,” Heintzelman said. “He set the bar so high. He’s irreplaceable.”
Throughout his 61 years of employment at the funeral home, Reitz also had other jobs — most at his father’s various businesses, plus several recreational hobbies.
“Heintzelman’s always got first priority,” Reitz said.
He recalls his years of drag racing in a 1962 Pontiac wagon as “The Flying Milkman.”
“I won a lot of races — 200 or so. I was drag racing, working at the Dairy Mart and at Heintzelman’s,” Reitz said. “I also used to race snowmobiles and won a lot of trophies.
“But if Heintzelman’s needed me, I went up there.”
He recalls driving along with the Heintzelmans on many occasions.
“I did a lot of traveling to pick up bodies,” Reitz said. “Richard and I would go and fetch them in the Carolinas or the Great Lakes area and sometimes take them to out-of-town funerals.”
On one occasion, he and Richard Heintzelman flew out to Cincinnati, Ohio, to get a factory tour of the S&S Coach Company, then drive a new hearse back to Schnecksville.
Robert Heintzelman said Reitz was much more than an employee.
“He truly was part of our family,” Heintzelman said. “He sat with our family at my father’s funeral.”
Reitz said he really liked the work he did for the Heintzelman Funeral Home.
“Everyday was different,” Reitz said.
Reitz looks forward to continuing his appearances as PITSTOP the clown at the Schnecksville Fair, the Upper Lehigh Lions Club Festival, private parties and Halloween and St. Patrick’s Day parades.
He also attends events in costume at The Neffs National Bank and at Dickeys Barbecue Pit, which is co-owned by Robert’s wife, Megan Heintzelman.
Robert Heintzelman commented on Reitz’s service and loyalty to the family and funeral home.
“Harold was truly the quintessential employee anyone could ever wish for. He was the best,” Heintzelman said.