Monday, July 09, 2012

Lester Halteman Dies, 76

Lester Halteman
Funeral services were held today for Lester Halteman, 76, who operated the eponymous butcher shop and deli in the Reading Terminal Market until he sold the business and retired about a decade ago. He died July 6 at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.

L. Halteman Country Foods started out as a poultry purveyor, but expanded over the years to include fresh meats, deli meats and cheeses. Amos Riehl continues the business today.

Lester and his wife Millie were featured in "Reading Terminal Market: A Family History", a video recounting the history of the market through interviews with long-time merchants. They were among the honored attendees when the Reading Terminal Market Merchants Association premiered the video at a gala party in the market in 2009.

In the video the Haltemans "told vivid stories from their long tenure.  In fact some of the best moments in the film were theirs," wrote RTM General Manager in an email announcing Lester's death.

In recent years a number of the market's long-time merchants have died. Most recently, Domenic Spataro, whose son continues the family sandwich business, died in January at age 96. Butcher Harry Ochs died at age 80 in December 2009, just a few months after the video's premiere party.

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