John Waltersdorf, former owner of Tristate Electric Supply, Hagerstown, Md., passed away on Sept. 2. He is survived by one son, John G. Waltersdorf of Hagerstown; three daughters, Elizabeth Grayson Oldfather of Philadelphia; Margaret Waltersdorf and Roberta Annan Waltersdorf both of Hagerstown; and three grandchildren.
Over the past 60 years, Waltersdorf was one of the electrical wholesaling industry's most respected leaders. He was president of National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED) from 1970-1971 and served as the president and chairman of the board of trustees for the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW) from 1974-1976. Waltersdorf also received the James H. McGraw Award for Electrical Men for Research Leadership in Distributor Data-Processing in 1975, and the 1997 GEM Award for Electrical Distributors from Electrical Wholesaling.
He was a true renaissance man with a wide variety of interests outside the electrical industry. In addition to serving in dozens of volunteer positions in the electrical and distribution industries and in his local community and receiving degrees from Yale and the University of Chicago, Waltersdorf was the official photographer with “Operation High Jump,” the last expedition led by Admiral Richard E. Byrd to the South Pole, according to his Baltimore Sun obituary. The film shot on this expedition was used in “Secret Land” which won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Film of the Year in 1949.
The family suggests memorial contributions may be made to the Community Foundation of Washington County Maryland Inc. 120 W. Washington St. Hagerstown, MD 21740 or to St. James School, c/o Matching Grant Program, 17641 College Rd., St. James, MD 21781.