Catonsville businessman considers community in plans for Candle Light site [Letter]

Kudos, once again, to Craig Witzke.

I moved to Baltimore, 27 years ago, to start a distribution/construction business. By accident, I ended up living in Catonsville; it was the town at the end of I-70.

I never regretted that decision. It is a wonderful community of which I am very proud to a member, even if I'm not really considered a Catonsvillian by some.

I've never met anyone that cared for and did as much for Catonsville as Craig Witzke. 

I am honored to have called him a friend for nearly 20 years.

Every time I talk with him, he has an idea for something to "improve" Catonsville. He is a wonderful businessman, but every time he talks about developing a business venture, he's thinks about how it will help Catonsville.

His Strawberry Fields development has breathed new life into downtown Catonsville, with tenants that connect with our community. Craig sponsors events on his properties for the entire Catonsville population. I know he was instrumental in starting the Friday Night band concerts.

The Candle Light Funeral Home may be Craig's best contribution to the Catonsville community.

The Candle Light Inn has long been a Catonsville landmark. Most people that have lived here for any length of time have fond memories of it (i.e. first dates, family reunions, anniversaries, wedding receptions or just an old building that adds character to our town).

We all know it had fallen on hard times. The fear of many was that beautiful building was not functional for most businesses, including restaurants, nor was it well suited as a residential property. This meant that, most likely, it was going to be plowed under to build more homes for our already overcrowded schools or for some drugstore chain to put in yet another medium-sized box pharmacy.

I am thrilled that our community will retain a landmark, giving us a local, small business owner as an alternative to the near monopoly that chain funeral homes have on our market. 

Thank you, Craig Witzke, and best of luck.

Ken Erickson


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