Ernst J. Riedl passed away peacefully on November 4, 2020 at the age of 94.
Ernie was born in Austria in 1926 as the oldest son of Ernst and Maria (Hammer) Riedl. At a young age, Ernie prioritized his education. To spite his friend’s mother who insulted his intelligence, he worked extra hard to learn English. At the time, he did not realize the profound effect learning English would have on the rest of his life. As a good student and on the shorter side, his school career counselor figured he was better suited for office work and made him an accounting apprentice.
When he was a teenager, he was drafted to fight for Germany in WWII which eventually led to his capture by allied forces. Despite spending years in captivity in a British prisoner of war camp, Ernie never said a bad thing about his time there. In fact, it was in the prison camp that he gained his love for tea and picked up his meticulous way of making a great cup. He became the head clerk and translator due to his proficiency in English, relishing his heightened role and added responsibility. After the war, Ernie worked for the American government in Austria, playing his part to carry out the Marshall Plan to reconstruct Europe. It was there that he met his first wife Louise while she was serving in the Women’s Army Corps.
To escape war-torn Europe and with a desire to begin a new life, Ernie immigrated to Canada where he worked as the accountant for a small construction company. He and Louise moved to Louise’s hometown, Rochester, where they had their first and only child, their daughter Mary. Continuing his constant pursuit for education, Ernie received his degree in accounting at the University of Rochester and became a Certified Public Accountant. It was through his work that he met his wife Esther and got remarried at a later age.
His depression-era work ethic made him extremely motivated and devoted to his work. He practiced as a CPA into his 90s and served as a trusted advisor to countless clients during his extremely long and successful career. He was highly respected by his colleagues for his business acumen, technical skills and early adoption of technology.
Ernie was known for his kind and polite demeanor and his thick Austrian accent which he could never lose despite living in America for over 60 years. He was a very sweet man and was loved by all who knew him. He loved to laugh with his friends and clients and would deliberately tell outrageous lies to get people laughing. He enjoyed listening to classical music, particularly Mozart and reading books about history and philosophy. He also liked reading the classics and would seek out copies written in German and sometimes French whenever he got the chance.
Besides his wife and family, Ernie loved many pets over the years that included bulldogs, corgis and a loyal orange cat named Skully.
Ernie is survived by his loving wife, Esther, daughter Mary (Michael) Barbero, stepchildren William (Pamela) Hendrick, Richard (Nancy) Hendrick, Joseph (Jane) Hendrick, Jane (Scott) Nickerson, twelve grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and many devoted nieces and nephews. In keeping with Ernie’s wishes there will be no formal services. To light a candle, leave a condolence, or to upload a photo please visit www.murphyfuneralservices.com.
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