PLATTSBURGH — Herbert E. Ryder, prominent local businessman and entrepreneur, loving husband, father and grandfather, passed away on May 18, 2013 at CVPH medical center. Herb was born in Syracuse, N.Y., on July 20, 1940 to Herbert and Anna Louise (Klept) Ryder. Herb spent most of his youth in Geneva, N.Y., and graduated from Geneva High School in 1958. Herb married his high school sweet-heart Carol Lynn Thomas and he attended Indiana University and Erie Technical College to become a licensed optician.
Herb and his family moved to Plattsburgh in 1965 where he opened his business, "The Spectacle Shoppe". He later expanded and in 1987 opened a second store in Malone as well. Two of his children, Thomas Ryder also an optician and Gretchen Ryder Spittler, an optometrist joined him in what truly became the family business.
Always outgoing, happy and friendly, Herb was very active in the community. Over the years, Herb coached little league, was active in the Plattsburgh City School District and was an Alderman for the City of Plattsburgh. He served on the board and as an officer of the Vilas Home for over 20 years. Herbert was a life time Elk and served as a director for BPOE 621. Concerned with the local development and business environment for Plattsburgh, he developed the Margaret Street Mall and later served on the PARC board. He was also on the board of Mater Dei College, and was instrumental in starting a program for training opticians there. As a Chapter President and Director of the New York State Society of Opticians, Herb continued throughout his life to contribute to the professional standards, codes and examination criteria for his profession. He was appointed by former Governor Mario Cuomo to serve on the New York State Ed Department of Professional services for ten years. Herb received the great honor of a "Life Time Achievement Award" from the State Society of Opticians for his many contributions.