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George E. Riedel Sr., 100, labor movement pioneer Dec. 20, 1908 -- Sept. 5, 2009

George E. Riedel Sr., who lived nearly all of his 100 years in Buffalo and played an active part in the early days of the labor movement, died Saturday in Fox Run nursing home, Orchard Park.

Born in Buffalo, Mr. Riedel first attended an all-German school in the city before graduating from the Elm Vocational School, Cornell Labor School and Buffalo Labor Relations School.

Mr. Riedel was married to the former Rose A. Mutka for 53 years. She died in 1993.

At age 35, Mr. Riedel joined the Navy and served during World War II as a petty officer in the Asiatic-Pacific Theatre.

Mr. Riedel was known in area labor circles for his affiliation with Local 576 of the International Association of Bridge, Structural & Ornamental Iron Workers. He was a charter member of the local and served as its business agent from 1953 to 1963; district representative from 1963 to 1968; and organizer from 1968 until his retirement in January 1975.

"He was a pioneer in the labor movement in Buffalo in those days," said his son, George E. Jr.

Mr. Riedel also sang with his church choir for several years.

"He was a great singer and took professional singing lessons," his son said. "He did many funerals and weddings. He enjoyed music his whole life."

Mr. Riedel was a member of the Matthew Glab Post, American Legion, and Harvey D. Morin Post, Veterans of Foreign Wars. He also was a member of the Buffalo Trap and Field Club and the Men's Club of St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Buffalo. Mr. Riedel spoke fluent German.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday in Salem Lutheran Church, 10 McClellan Circle.


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