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In Memoriam: Bill Riedel (1928-2018)

Remembering the de facto grandfather of the Walldogs.

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Bill Riedel, the de facto “grandfather” of the Walldogs, and the owner of Riedel Sign Co. (Little Ferry, NJ) since its founding in 1957, died on February 20, 2018, three days before his 90th birthday. His lasting legacy to the American Sign Museum is his work for the “Signs on Main Street,” which was dedicated on June 23, 2012, following a week of work by 28 sign artisans from the US and Canada. Bill said, “People can have their special cruises and vacations and Super Bowls. This is my best. This is what I live for.” 

Bill was a fixture at the annual Walldog meets, in which artisans go to different towns and paint huge murals on the blank walls of buildings. (Typically, the murals chronicle local history.) At the Shipshewana (IN) Walldog meet in 2014, Riedel was honored when the several hundred artisans all wore t-shirts with Bill’s face on them. In his obituary, Bill’s family wrote, “In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution to the American Sign Museum.”

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