Cover photo for Ralph "Buddy" Wachter's Obituary
Ralph "Buddy" Wachter Profile Photo

Ralph "Buddy" Wachter

February 18, 1928 — May 23, 2022

Ralph "Buddy" Wachter

Ralph Eugene Wachter, “Buddy”, formerly of Hancock, Maryland, died Monday evening, May 23, 2022, at Heritage Springs Memory Care in Lewisburg, PA at the age of 94.

Born February 18, 1928, he was the son of the late Willard R. and Gladys P. (Phillips) Wachter.  He was the last surviving member of his family.

He is survived by his daughters, Mary L Jones, and husband, Norman, of Danville, PA. and Barbara J Smith, of Hagerstown, MD.; 12 grandchildren; 11 great grandchildren; and 1 great-great grandson.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his loving wife of 72 years, Della M (Peck) Wachter; his sisters, Mary Lavon Wachter, Darce Jean (Wachter) Davison, Patricia L (Wachter) Zilch; brother, Donald Lee Wachter; son, Steven D Wachter; son-in-law, Edward Smith; and step-grandson, Edward “Ricky” Smith.

After graduating from Hancock High School, June 1946, he enlisted in the US Army and volunteered for para-glider training.  He served as a paratrooper in the 188th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 11th Airborne Division while stationed in Occupied Japan 1946-1948.  He was discharged as a Platoon Sergeant and joined the Airborne Reserves.

Following military service, he enrolled at the University of Maryland, graduating in 1952, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. Continuing his education, he received a Master’s Degree in Administration at the University of Maryland, as well as additional graduate studies at the University of Maryland and at Columbia University.

Ralph began his teaching career in 1952, by becoming the first Business Education teacher at Hancock High School, in his beloved hometown of Hancock, MD.  In 1958 he was appointed Principal of Hancock Intermediate School.  In 1962, he moved his family to Cecil County, MD., where he had accepted a position as Principal of Bohemia Manor Jr-Senior High School in Chesapeake City, MD.  He later joined the Cecil County Public School Administrative Staff as Instructional Supervisor, eventually appointed as Supervisor of their Finance Department.  He left Cecil County in 1971 to become Superintendent of the Calvert County Public School System in Prince Frederick, MD.  In 1973, he was nominated by the Maryland State Superintendent of Schools to study educational programming in Austria, Germany and Denmark.  He retired from the Superintendency on June 30, 1980, after 30 years of combined education and military service.

He began his business career in the fall of 1980 when he became Executive Director of the Calvert County Board of Trade, which was to become the Calvert County Chamber of Commerce.  He held that position through 1983, when he became a consultant and later an employee of Johnson Controls.  He worked in commercial real estate in Calvert County, pursing that career, part-time, until his late 80’s.

He was actively involved in many organizations throughout his life:  former President Hancock Lions Club, Deputy District Governor of Lions 22W, former President of Chesapeake City Lions Club, two 4-year terms as Mayor of Hancock, MD, former member and Vice Chairman of the Maryland State Board of Elections, former member of the Washington County Gaming Commission, member of Retired Teacher’s Association, Retired Superintendent’s Association, Association of  School Business Officials.  As well, he was a life member of, Webster B Harrison Post 26 American Legion, 11th Airborne Division, University of Maryland Alumni Association, Calvert County Chamber of Commerce, and the Hancock Historical Society.

A life-long member of the Episcopal Church, he was a member of St. Thomas Church, in Hancock, MD., where he served as a Vestry member.  He also served the Vestry at Trinity Episcopal Church in Elkton, Cecil County, MD., and at St Paul’s in Prince Frederick, Calvert County, MD.  He participated in many church related activities, including several fund raising drives.

The family will receive friends at Damascus Church, Big Cove Tannery, Saturday, May 28, 2022, 10:00-11:00 a.m. Funeral service will follow at 11:00 a.m. The Rev Steven McCarty officiating.  Burial will be in Damascus Cemetery. Military Honors will be provided by Fulton County Honor Guard.

Memorial contributions can be made to St Thomas Episcopal Church, 2 East High St, Hancock MD 21750, to Damascus Cemetery Association, in care of Richard Grove, 880 Gem Bridge Rd, Needmore, PA 17238, or to the charity of one’s choice.

Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Grove Funeral Home, 141 West Main St, Hancock, MD.  Online condolences can be expressed to the family at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ralph "Buddy" Wachter, please visit our flower store.

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