Carter Detre Cafritz
January 23, 1937 – April 4, 2019
CARTER CAFRITZ BUILDER, ENTREPENEUR AND PHILANTHROPIST
Carter Detre Cafritz, a real estate developer for over sixty years in the nation’s capitol, died on April 4th at Sibley Hospital. He was 82.
One of the three sons of real estate magnate Morris Cafritz and his wife, hostess Gwendolyn Cafritz, Carter was born on January 23rd, 1937 and grew up in Washington, DC.
Beginning in the late 1950s he worked closely with his father and the Cafritz Company on downtown construction sites, helping to develop several landmark Washington buildings, including the Universal North and South buildings on Connecticut Avenue and the River House apartments in Pentagon City, VA.
Mr. Cafritz was an active figure in the Washington area’s real estate community. As chairman of DC-based Carter Cafritz Development, he directed a range of projects and management initiatives in commercial and residential real estate.
During his career he was involved in a number of major development projects including 1775 Eye Street, 1660 L Street, 1717 K Street, The Brinkley House Apartments in College Park, Maryland and Capitol City Plaza at 77 K Street NE.
An ever-curious man, Mr. Cafritz’s entrepreneurial spirit inspired him to take a leap into technology when he created an Internet firm, Digital Select in his 60’s. The firm was one of the first providers of high-speed DSL Internet service in the Washington DC area.
Mr. Cafritz was also involved in Washington-area civic and charitable causes. He was a grantor and trustee of the Carter and Melissa Cafritz Charitable Trust, which supports education and the arts. He served as a Trustee on the boards of Metropolitan Planning and Housing, WETA - where he had worked as a cameraman and documentary film-maker - and the Duke Ellington School of the Arts. He was an active supporter of THEARC and Building Bridges Across America. He spearheaded the DC Police Community Out Reach Program and was also involved with Martha’s Table.
Mr. Cafritz was a member of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Economics Club of Washington, DC, Brookings Institution, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.
Mr. Cafritz was a vibrant man with a contagious laugh. He was loyal and generous to his many friends. He had a passion for food, an innate scientific curiosity and a special interest in the function of all things mechanical. He loved photography and filmmaking and could often be found in his darkroom working on family photo albums and movies. Mr. Cafritz was a loving husband, involved father and he adored his grandchildren.
Mr. Cafritz is survived by his wife of 48 years, Melissa Bertholf Cafritz of Washington, DC; their four children Carlson Cafritz and fiancée Annemie Dundon, of Aspen, CO, Kendall Cafritz of Washington, DC, Andrea Hamor and husband Brian, of Stowe, VT; Emily Cafritz and husband Ali Umar, of Washington, DC; grandchildren Stella Hamor of Stowe, VT and Lucia Hamor of Stowe, VT and his two brothers Calvin Cafritz of Washington, DC and Conrad Cafritz of Washington, DC.
As many of you know, Carter fought a long, hard battle with MDS. Carter was able to add years to his life thanks to countless donations of blood from the American Red Cross, for which we are forever grateful. In lieu of flowers, please consider participating in your local blood drives. We also plan on creating a charity in Carter's honor; more information to be shared at a later date.
- Visitation Saturday, April 13, 2019
Carter Detre Cafritz
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April 11, 2019
I am so sorry for your loss. Even though I was very young when I met him I will always remember him in my heart. Carter was always smiling and laughing even when he was sick. He has such wonderful family. I will remember Carter as a happy and proud father. Great respect
April 10, 2019
To Lisa, Carter’s children, grandchildren and the entire extended Cafrtiz family my profound condolences.
Carter was a wonderful and generous man who touched so many lives. He did this always in a very positive way.
Carter showed us all how to live one’s life to the fullest.
He was a man’s man and true gentlemen.
I was honored to have the opportunity to know him.
Although he will be missed, he lives on through his wonderful family and his great achievements in several real estate development projects and selfless philanthropy.