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.
An avid bowler and fisherman, Herb loved his life on Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks. He traveled all over the world, but liked nothing better than being home with family and friends. He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.
Herbert was predeceased by his wife of 40 years, Carol Lynn (Thomas) Ryder, his parents and several siblings. He is survived by his wife of ten years, MaryAnne Bukolt-Ryder; his son Thomas Ryder and his wife Denise (Calkins) Ryder of Plattsburgh; his daughter, Dr. Gretchen Ryder Spittler and her husband Thomas Spittler of Plattsburgh; his daughter Christine Ryder and her partner Robert Buran of Milton, Vt.; three grandchildren, Mitchell Ryder, Paige Spittler and Carolyn Spittler; and his step-children Angela Marshall and her husband Jean-Claude of Columbia, Md.; Kristina Garenani and her fianc^ David Breitkreutz of Elmira, N.Y., Kathleen Garenani and her fianc^ Joshua Thayer of Alexandria Va., and "AJ" Arthur Ford of Plattsburgh; and a sister, Janice Kobusch of San Diego, Calif.
Calling hours will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at the Brown Funeral Home in Plattsburgh. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, May 23, 2013, at St. Peter's Church in Plattsburgh, immediately followed by a reception at the Emmaus Room. A family burial service will be held later that day at St. Mary's of the Lake on Cumberland Head.
Donations in lieu of flowers may be sent in Herb's memory to the Third Age Adult Center, 417 Sibley Hall, 101 Broad Street, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Brown Funeral Home, 29 Broad Street, Plattsburgh, NY, 12901 (518)-561-3980. Online condolences and memorial candles may be offered at www.brownfuneralhomeinc.com