Richard Beltz of carpet company

Richard H. Beltz
Richard H. Beltz
Posted: August 09, 2014

Richard H. Beltz, 92, of Wynnewood, a carpet manufacturer and decorated World War II veteran, died Friday, Aug. 1, of an artery ailment at his home.

Mr. Beltz worked with his father, Clarence, in the family's carpet manufacturing business, Beltz & Son, in Philadelphia. Later, he and his son, Rick, operated the business until it was sold a decade ago. Mr. Beltz retired in 1983.

The role that Mr. Beltz most valued was being a provider for his family. "His family's well-being was always of utmost important," his relatives said in a tribute.

Born in Philadelphia and raised in Narberth, Mr. Beltz was a 1939 graduate of Lower Merion High School, and took seriously its motto: "Enter to learn, go forth to serve."

He served the Penn Wynne community as a member and ultimately deputy chief of the Penn Wynne Fire Company, and as a member and choir member of Penn Wynne Presbyterian Church for 58 years.

"He was singing hymns up until the time he died," said his wife, Sophia Landherr Beltz.

He also served his country during World War II, in the Army and, later, as a special operations recruit for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), a U.S. intelligence agency formed during the war. His assignments, all classified, were in Africa, Italy, France, and Germany from 1942 to 1945.

He told his wife that he was a radioman, but made no other mention of what he did, she said.

In the fall of 2012, Mr. Beltz was among 13 World War II veterans singled out by France for the honor of Knight of the Legion of Honor. The medallion he received recognized his contributions to the liberation of France.

French Veterans Affairs Minister Kader Arif presided over the September ceremony in Normandy.

Mr. Beltz lived in Wynnewood his entire adult life.

Besides his son, and wife of 68 years, Mr. Beltz is survived by a daughter, Ginger Dietz; four grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; two sisters; and many nieces and nephews.

A viewing Friday, Aug. 8, from 10 to 11 a.m. will be followed by an 11 a.m. memorial service at Penn Wynne Presbyterian Church, 130 Haverford Rd., Wynnewood, Pa. 19096. Interment is in Valley Forge Memorial Gardens, King of Prussia.

Contributions may be made to the church at the address above, or to the OSS Society, 7700 Leesburg Pike, Suite 324, Falls Church, Va. 22043.


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