Oct. 7, 1934 – Feb. 26, 2019
In his youth, Dr. William K. Riedel of Williamsville, a longtime optometrist, developed a close relationship with his own optometrist.
One could say they just happened to see eye to eye.
So much so that Dr. Riedel became inspired to follow in his eye doctor's footsteps by studying the profession, briefly going to work for him and eventually buying out his mentor's Bailey Avenue practice.
It's a business that Dr. Riedel operated for more than 40 years – before passing the reins on to his son.
Dr. Riedel died Tuesday in Elderwood at Williamsville. He was 84.
"I assume it would have been his optometrist back in the '30s and '40s and '50s was the gentlemen that kind of got him interested in optometry," said Dr. Riedel's son and successor, also named Dr. William Riedel.
"Of course, I'm his son and I'm an optometrist, so they passed the legacy right down to me," Dr. Riedel's son added.
Dr. William J. Condon was the progenitor of the interest in, and devotion to, professional eye care for the Riedels.
"It's funny, because Dr. Condon and Mrs. Condon kind of became quite good family friends, and Christmases were always spent with the Condons until Dr. Condon passed. So there was a family kind of affair there," said the younger Dr. Riedel.
Dr. William K. Riedel was born in Buffalo, and moved with his family to Williamsville in 1949.
He was a 1952 graduate of Clarence High School and salutatorian for his class.
The elder Dr. Riedel took his optometry training courses at the University of Buffalo and graduated with honors from the Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago in 1958.
He returned to Buffalo, where he briefly joined the practice of his mentor, Dr. Condon, who retired roughly a year later, and sold the business to Dr. Riedel.
"I bought the practice from my dad in 1999 and Dad then worked for me," said the younger Dr. Riedel.
"He still worked up until literally three years ago. So he worked up until he was 81 years old," added the younger Riedel, about his father.
The elder Dr. Riedel was an avid fan of the Sabres and Bills. He enjoyed playing golf and cards with his friends.
He was a longtime member of the Western New York Society of Optometrists and served as its treasurer before becoming president of the organization from 1986 to 1988.
He was a life member of the New York State Optometric Association and American Optometric Association. He served on the New York State Board of Optometry as deputy examiner for many years.
The elder Dr. Riedel was a longtime member of St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Williamsville, where he served as an usher and church council member.
He was predeceased by his wife of 48 years, the former Linda Balash, who died in 2010.
In addition to his son, Dr. William M. Riedel, he is survived by another son, Mark; two daughters, Sandra Crume and Kimberly Carroll; and seven grandchildren.
A funeral service is set for 11 a.m. Saturday, March 2, in St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church, 68 Eagle St., Williamsville.