George W. “Buddy” Riedmueller, of Oppelo, 79, died Feb. 22. He was born in Morrilton February 24, 1938. He was a member of the St. Elizabeth Church located near the foot of Petit Jean Mountain. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Marilyn Berkemeyer Riedmueller, son Jeff of Oppelo, daughter Cynthia Ellis, grandchildren Nicole and Curtis Rowland, Rebecca and Brandon Brossard, and Tyler and Shelbi Chenault, and great-grandchildren, Kason and Rylea Brossard and Avery Rowland. He is also survived by his brother Charles Riedmueller, three sisters, Barbara Jean Nabholz, Elaine Lynch and Deloris Beck. He was preceded in death by his parents, George W.Riedmueller Jr. and Teresa Lienhart Riedmueller, as well as his brother Jim Riedmueller.
Buddy enlisted in the Air National Guard while in his senior year at Sacred Heart High School and completed his basic training following graduation in 1956. He was activated into service in1957 during the desegregation at Central High in Little Rock. He completed his National Guard enlistment while working at the airport in Meridian, MS in 1962.
In 1959, Buddy attended and graduated from Weaver Airline Academy in Kansas City, Mo., and soon joined Southern Airways in Atlanta, Ga. He advanced with Southern to stations in Mobile, Ala.,and Meridian, Miss., and was station manager in Decatur, Ala., before returning to his Morrilton hometown.
He joined the Nabholz Construction Companies in Conway in 1972 and served 19 years as director of safety, personnel and training. He joined CDI Contractors of Little Rock in 1991 as corporate safety director where he remained until his retirement in 2004. After retirement he helped other construction companies as safety consultant. He assisted with teaching safety at the University of Central Arkansas and various construction trade associations. He was recognized as Safety Professional of the Year in 1984 by his fellow members of Arkansas Chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers.
Buddy’s hobby, for many years, was rattlesnake hunting and raising western diamondback rattlesnakes. Most of his hunting was done in Oklahoma. While raising snakes, visitors to his Oppelo home were limited, it seemed. He would take his snakes for a crawl periodically. He spoke to groups about his snake hunting and raising experiences. His interest in snakes started after his wife was bitten by a poisonous copperhead snake in their backyard.
Buddy and his wife usually spent their weekend evenings with church friends in the St. Elizabeth community, playing cards or dominos. Buddy enjoyed chauffeuring his wife and her sisters on sightseeing trips to various places in the United States. Such trips usuallyi nclude stops at a casino. He also felt it a worthy cause to help the schoolchildren in Tunica County, Miss., and the native Indians in Oklahoma. Buddy was a fun-loving person and enjoyed sharing jokes with friends.
Buddy was a member of the Morrilton Knights of Columbus and served as a grand knight while a member of the Knights in Decatur, Alabama.
Arrangements are as follows: Recitation of the Rosary will be Tuesday, Feb. 27 at 6 p.m. at Harris Funeral Home at 1325 Oak Street, Morrilton, followed by visitation from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Funeral Mass will take place St. Elizabeth Church on Wednesday at 11 a.m., 89 St. Elizabeth Road with Father Richard Davis, pastor, officiating. Burial will be in the St.Elizabeth Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Elizabeth Church, Sacred Heart School in Morrilton, Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock, or St. Scholastica Monastery in Fort Smith.
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