Born in 1929 in Sunbury, Pennsylvania, Reitz changed jobs several times before attending Kutztown State Teacher’s College, where he studied painting and earned a bachelor’s degree in 1957. After teaching in public schools, he enrolled in the ceramics program at Alfred University and obtained his MFA in 1962. Soon afterward, he went to the University of Wisconsin in Madison, and he taught there for more than twenty-five years. Reitz has always also worked as a potter in his Arizona studio. In 2002 he received the American Craft Council’s Gold Medal. Reitz died in 2014 at the age of eighty-four, after a long life of experimentation and intense ceramic activity.