Dick, as he was universally known, was born in Honesdale on September 26, 1927, to Bernice and Louis O. "Doc" Kreitner, and grew up in Honesdale and Walton, New York. He graduated from Honesdale High School in 1945 and joined the U.S. Navy the next summer, being sworn in on V-J Day. |
After a year at Susquehanna University and another stint in the Navy, he returned to Honesdale and opened Kreitner's Restaurant on Tenth Street in 1954. Kreitner's remained a community landmark until it closed in 1987: everyone in town ate there, and half of the town now between the ages of forty and seventy worked there at one time or another. Younger readers will remember his column, "Kreitner's Cooking Corner," first in the Weekly Almanac and then in the Wayne Independent, in which he shared recipes from the restaurant, from his readers, and from the growing pile of eccentric cookbooks in his basement.
Besides the restaurant, he is best remembered for a life of community service, which for a time included elective office-he joined the Honesdale Borough Council in 1978 to 1982 and was elected Mayor for two terms, from 1982 to 1990, which ended only when he moved out of the borough-but which in one way or another was a great part of his life all his life. He was a lifelong member and an elder of the First Presbyterian Church; he was active with the Boy Scouts from the time he joined Troop 1 at eleven till days before he died, serving as Scoutmaster of Troop 1 for several years in the late 1960s and early 1970s and winning the Silver Beaver Award in 1977; he was, at last count, a twelve-gallon blood donor for the Red Cross; he was a sixty-year member of Protection Engine Company No. 3; and for many years he was active in Jaycees, the Masons, and the Shriners.
His spare time, such as it was, was filled with music (church choir, Wayne Choralaires, Barbershoppers), the visual arts (he was an accomplished woodcarver, responsible for a number of well-known wooden eagles around town, and stained-glass craftsman), and local history.
He was active in the Wayne County Historical Society, earning their Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012, and was the guiding force and until very recently the actual guide for the Old Stone Jail and many will remember the large collection of artifacts and pictures on the wall of the main dining room in the restaurant.
He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Miriam Kreitner, at home in Seelyville; his son Kenneth and his wife Mona of Memphis; his daughter Kathryn of Honesdale; and three cats who would prefer not to be named. He was preceded in death by his parents and by a brother, Kenneth W. Kreitner.
Dick Kreitner lived for his family, for the people of his town, and for the joy of doing things and doing them well. And he died with his apron on.
Memorial Services will be held at 11 A.M. on Friday, April 26, 2013 in the First Presbyterian Church of Honesdale with Rev. Michael Lyle officiating.
Friends may visit from 9 A.M. until the time of service at the church on Friday.
Arrangements are attended by the Arthur A. Bryant Funeral Home 1228 Main Street, Honesdale, PA 18431.
Published in Wayne Independent from Apr. 24 to Apr. 25, 2013