Dr. Frank Riedl is being hailed as a caring, compassionate professional, a man dedicated to the medical profession and Charlotte Eleanor Englehart Hospital.
Riedl, who graduated from the University of Western Ontario, began practicing in Petrolia in 1967 where he served until he died Friday.
He was 81.
For many people in Petrolia and Alvinston, Dr. Riedl was the only family physician they ever had. He brought them into the world, cared for them and their children as they aged.
“He has been my family doctor for my whole life as well as for both my children. He has been an amazing doctor and friend,” said Bonnie Broad in the online tributes posted to Dr. Riedl’s obituary. “His dedication to the medical profession has been top notch and will definitely be missed.”
Others spoke of the time the doctor would spend with each patient. “He never stopped caring for his patients,” wrote Marianne Terpstra. “He was one of the last doctor’s to still go into people’s homes to care for them. He truly was a great man.”
“Dr. Riedl has been an exemplary doctor and friend for many years. His stories and sense of humour became an enjoyable part of every visit,” said Lawrence Swift.
Those personal touches were seen by those who worked with him, too. “I worked a few years with him at CEE Hospital. He was was always kind, and pleasant with the utmost dedication to his patients and practice,” says Paula Lumley.
“Frank was the last true old school Doc. He was still doing house calls. He was a great man and his strong work ethic and dedication will be remembered for years to come,” said Lambton paramedic and Petrolia Town Councillor Grant Purdy.
While Dr. Riedl made a demonstrable difference in his patients’ lives, he also made a mark in the community. Riedl was the medical director at Charlotte Eleanor Englehart Hospital in Petrolia during one of the most turbulent times for the rural hospital.
In 2010, Dr. Riedl was one of many local doctors who fought to bring more doctors to the emergency department as Bluewater Health and the Erie St. Clair LHIN planned to eliminate the 24 hour emergency department.
After a massive public outcry – the LHIN formed a reference panel to review the plan and to find ways to keep the emergency department open 24 hours. Dr Riedl was part of that panel. Today, the emergency department in Petrolia still operates 24 hours a day.
Dr. Riedl is survived by his wife, Lynne, and his children, Becky, Craig, Jenny, and Frankie and 11 grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements have not yet been finalized.