M. Rosenthal, 84, was lightning rod maker


Morris S. Rosenthal, owner of one of the nation’s oldest firms manufacturing and installing lightning rods, died Saturday, May 24, 2008, of a stroke at Missouri Baptist Hospital in Town and Country. He was 84 years old and a resident of Creve Coeur.

Mr. Rosenthal bought St. Louis Lightning Protection Co. at 515 South Vendeventer Avenue in the early to mid-sixties. The company had been founded in 1867 by Henry F. Kretzer, an uncle of former U.S. Rep. Lenore K. Sullivan of St. Louis.

During his career with the firm, Mr. Rosenthal provided materials to set up systems on many major structures, including the Gateway Arch. The Arch has seven lightning rods starting from the aircraft warning light on top.

Other projects included both the old and new Busch Stadiums and many hospitals in the region, including St. Louis Children’s Hospital. In addition to the buildings, Mr. Rosenthal made sure that many trees in the Missouri Botanical Gardens and near the Muny were protected as well.

As recently as the week before his passing, Mr. Rosenthal was climbing on top of the buildings during service calls.

Mr. Rosenthal was a native of St. Louis. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II. After military service, Mr. Rosenthal earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from Washington University in St. Louis. Before purchasing the St. Louis Lightning Protection Co., he worked there in sales and later management.

Mr. Rosenthal was a longtime member of United Hebrew Congregation and the Jewish Community Center’s Men’s Health Club.

Funeral services were held last week at United Hebrew Congregation, 13788 Conway Road, Chesterfield. Burial was at the Beth Hamedrosh Hagodol Cemetery on Ladue Road.

Among the survivors are his wife, Dolores “Dee” Rosenthal; two sons, Mark Rosenthal of Ballwin and Rand Rosenthal of Webster Groves; a brother, Joe Rosenthal of Beverly Hills, Calif.; a stepson, Jimmy Weisman of Little Rock, Ark.; a step-daughter, Nancy Weisman of University City; nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to Forest Park Forever, or to a charity of the donor’s choice.