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Erna J. Rieth, 94, liquor store owner, volunteer

Sept. 25, 1919 – July 27, 2014

Erna J. Rieth, who owned and operated a liquor store in Buffalo’s Old First Ward, died July 27 in Mercy Hospital after a short illness. She was 94.

Born Erna Jordans in Aachen, Germany, she celebrated her fifth birthday with her family aboard a ship bound for the U.S.

After they arrived in Buffalo, she attended School 41 and Fosdick-Masten Park High School.

She worked in her family’s German restaurant, Peter’s Beer Steub at Genesee and Oak streets, and later at Liberty Wine and Liquor at South Park Avenue and Louisiana Street, taking over the business after her parents retired. The business closed after a fire in the 1980s.

Mrs. Rieth was a member of the Liquor Dealers Association of Western New York and was an officer of the Western New York chapter of the Women’s Association of the Allied Beverage Industries.

A longtime North Buffalo resident, she was a neighborhood agent for The Buffalo News for many years, a Cub Scout den mother and a member of the PTAs at School 21, Bennett High School and Riverside High School.

She was a longtime usher for the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Shea’s Performing Arts Center and Studio Arena Theatre. She also was a volunteer for the Variety Club of Buffalo.

She was a longtime member of St. Paul’s and St. Mark’s United Church of Christ and served for several years as treasurer.

Her husband of 43 years, Hermann, died in 1983.

Survivors include a daughter, Pam Landel; a son, Paul; a brother, Hans Jordans; seven grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday in Lester H. Wedekindt Funeral Home, 3290 Delaware Ave., Town of Tonawanda.

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