Lothar Walter Wehmeier, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, passed away on December 22, 2011. He was 78.
Wehmeier was born December 4, 1933, in Berlin, Germany. He began his work in the O&P field in 1948 in Germany, but was drawn to the United States in 1957 when he was contracted in New York, New York, as a sought-after professional in the field. In 1961, he returned to Germany where he attended the Bundes Fach Schooler (professional school) to complete his master’s degree in orthotics and prosthetics. He then went on to manage a large O&P company in Berlin from 1962-1966. In 1966, he was offered a position in New Jersey, servicing hospitals in the New York and New Jersey metropolitan areas. One of the hospitals he worked at was New York University (NYU), where the O&P department was on the same floor as the occupational therapy (OT) department. While working with both departments, he helped to develop, modify, and engineer new orthotic devices.
Working from the basement of his house, Wehmeier designed orthotic devices and brought them to market. The success of these items prompted him to found a manufacturing company, and in 1969, Rehabilitation Technical Components (RTC) was opened in Hillside, New Jersey. RTC had three divisions: patient care with a full O&P facility, O&P import and supply, and the manufacturing division for occupational therapy (OT) devices. In 1999, Wehmeier retired from patient care and moved to North Carolina but remained active in the industry. In 2005, the import division of RTC merged with The Ortho Remedy, Cliffside Park, New Jersey, but Wehmeier retained the manufacturing division under the name of Active International, of which he was the owner and president.
Wehmeier is survived by wife, Yolanta Wehmeier; sons, Udo Wehmeier and Alex (Janie) Wehmeier; sisters, Sieglinde Zrostek and Grace (Fawzy) Farrag; and numerous nieces and nephews.