Lothar Albert Stelter, 88, of Kew Garden Hills, Queens, died on Saturday, December 21, 2019. He is survived by his three loving children Lawrence, Leonore DeLince and Lorraine; his grandson William DeLince, his son-in-law Patrick DeLince and his son Lawrence’s fiancé Laura Alamazan. His wife Josephine Stelter nee Montelbano, predeceased him in 2016.
Born on March 3, 1931 in Manhattan and raised in the Wakefield Section of the Bronx, Lothar Stelter was a product of the city schools and graduated in 1948 from Evander Childs High School in the Bronx. He then attended what is now Westchester Community College in 1950. He later received an associated degree in engineering from that same college.
In 1988 after a 38-year career with the New York Telephone co., a predecessor of Verizon, Lothar retired as a Systems Information Manager. Prior to working in management, he enjoyed working in the field where he was a telephone installer primarily in Manhattan.
During the early 1950s, he developed a keen photographer’s eye for the cityscape, especially the Third Avenue El and its neighborhoods and Harlem. During his free time while in the field he would shoot pictures of Harlem and the El with his cameras.
In 1995, Lothar and his son Lawrence published a book about the Third Ave El, which was much acclaimed by critics. The book entitled, “By the EL: Third Avenue and its El at Midcentury” was written by Lawrence with color photographs provided by Lothar. The book showed how teeming and alive the Third Ave El route was in the lifeline of the city.
Lothar was a devoted and loving family man who was deeply involved with his children’s development and education, encouraging them to pursue their interests in photography, architecture, art, music and movies. He gave them a love of history and historical places – visiting many tri state area historical sites and museums when they were young.
He was a passionate and devoted classic film buff. He loved all movies from the silent era, classic B&Ws, Sci-fi through modern blockbusters like “Titanic.” As a child his favorite movies starred Errol Flynn and later favorites included Orson Wells, Barbara Stanwyck and Harrison Ford.
He enjoyed listening and collecting music from classical, jazz and folk through Motown and rock. His tastes ranged from Bach, Louis Armstrong, Johnny Cash to The Supremes and The Rolling Stones.
Lothar will be sorely missing by all those who knew and loved him – may he rest in peace now reunited with his Josephine.
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