Walter G. Riedesel, age 93, of Westfield, NY died Tuesday December 24, 2013 surrounded by his family on his 68th wedding anniversary.
Walter was born on June 27, 1920 in the Oklahoma panhandle a son of the late John and Emma (Jacobsen) Riedesel.
At the age of Six, his family relocated to Westfield, NY, traveling there in an open touring car purchased for the trip. This was the first of many cross country trips Walter would take. He attended school in a local one room country schoolhouse until leaving for the working world and General Electric.
In 1942, the US Army offered him an all expenses paid tour of the South Pacific including the Philippine Islands, New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand. He served with a unit of the US Army Corps of Engineers, Second Engineer Amphibian Brigade, operating and manning the various landing barges during beach assaults as well as transporting men and supplies. At the end of WWII with Japan, he had attained the rank of Technical Sergeant. It was quite the experience for a rural farm boy, but one that he always insisted he would do again.
After the war, he returned to Westfield to marry his sweetheart, return to work at GE and purchase a small grape farm, until he could purchase a larger grape farm and make his passion his career. He owned the same farm for 60 years, until his death. Although he leased the farm in his later years, he operated his favorite Massey Ferguson tractor through his 92nd year and watched over the operation of his farm until his passing. Walter enjoyed numerous cross country trips with his siblings and friends; his twenty plus years of wintering in Sebring, FL, discussing national politics and religion and carpentry, at which he wasn't very good at.
He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Iola (Reynolds) Riedesel and their three children; George (Tracy) Riedesel of Millcreek Twp., PA, Marian (Norman) Allen of Erie, PA, and Donna Riedesel of Westfield, NY.
He is also survived by his older sister, Ann Morehouse (at 101) of Eustis, FL, his five grandchildren;
Dr. Jeremy Riedesel of Westfield, Christopher Riedesel of Burbank, CA, Jennifer Allen of Portland, OR, Valerie Allen of Canton, GA, and Jacob Allen of Erie, PA and by his one great granddaughter, Abigail Luella Miller of Portland, OR. He survived and is survived by many nieces and nephews of whom he thought highly.
He was preceded in death by his six brothers and their wives; Henry (Mary), Albert, Herman (Beatrice), William (Marcia), Alfred(Isabel) and Arthur (Virginia).
Funeral services will be held at a later date.
Memorials may be made to the Fire Department of Westfield Memorial Fund, 23 Elm Street, or to the Patterson Library, 40 So. Portage Street, both in Westfield, NY 14787.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the MASON Funeral Home, 37 Clinton St., Westfield, NY 14787. Log on to www.masonfuneral.com to send the Riedesel family a message of sympathy or to light a Memorial Candle.