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William H. Dreyer Jr., industrial and interior designer, dies

William H. Dreyer Jr. made intricate architectural models as a hobby.
William H. Dreyer Jr. made intricate architectural models as a hobby.

William H. Dreyer Jr., a retired industrial and interior designer who was a master model builder and a collector of model cars, died April 9 at Stella Maris Hospice of complications from diabetes. The Rodgers Forge resident was 85.

William Henry Dreyer Jr. was the son of German immigrant parents. His father, William H. Dreyer Sr., was the building superintendent for the Sun Life Insurance Co., and his mother, Martha Hina Dreyer, was a homemaker.

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Because his parents weren’t able to get to what is now Mercy Medical Center in time, Mr. Dreyer was born in the back seat of his father’s 1932 Ford four-door sedan in the hospital parking lot, said his stepdaughter, Charlotte J. Wanner of Rodgers Forge.

He was raised on Winner Avenue in the city’s Pimlico neighborhood and graduated in 1954 from City College, and four years later from the Pratt Institute of Art in New York City.

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After college, he worked in New York City as an industrial designer for Albrecht Goertz and worked on designs for Porsche and BMW automobiles, Montblanc fountain pens, appliances and even the Tums bottle, Ms. Wanner said.

William H. Dreyer Jr. made intricate architectural models.
William H. Dreyer Jr. made intricate architectural models.

Mr. Dreyer returned to Baltimore in 1960 and went to work for the architectural firm of Ayers Saint Gross as a model builder, photographer and presenter. He joined the Rouse Co. in 1968 and was responsible for designing residential interior spaces as well as village center spaces in Columbia, selecting paint colors and fabrics.

After leaving the Rouse Co. in 1975, he worked as an independent industrial and interior design consultant for Ken Reinhard Design and Associates in Charles Village and for RBL Industries until retiring in 1998.

One of Mr. Dreyer’s pastimes was making intricate architectural models. ”For instance, he would make models of cathedrals from all over the world in paper that were very impressive. They were just incredible,” Ms. Wanner said.

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He also assembled a vast collection of model cars and enjoyed collecting art. He was a music lover and a season subscriber to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Shriver Hall Concert Series, Center Stage and Everyman Theatre. He attended the Odyssey Program classes at the Johns Hopkins University.

Mr. Dreyer was an active communicant of the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, where he was a longtime usher.

He left his remains to the Maryland Anatomy Board, and plans for a celebration-of-life gathering to be held at his church are incomplete because of the pandemic.

In addition to his stepdaughter, Mr. Dreyer is survived by his wife of 53 years, the former Jane Milby, who was an administrative assistant at the Johns Hopkins University.

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