William George Riebel
Adirondack Daily Enterprise, February 15, 1991
Born: May 7, 1901

Died: February 14, 1991

Married: Stella Zustavna

Children: George Jr., David L., and Gary C., Mrs. Virginia Queior, Mrs. Rosalind Deitz

William George Riebel was head chief at the New York State Hospital at Ray Brook, and operated two motels (one in Ray Brook and the other the at 15 Lake Flower Avenue in Saranac Lake) and a restaurant in Ray Brook.

Adirondack Daily Enterprise, February 15, 1991

William George Riebel

SARANAC LAKE — William George Riebel, 89, of Ray Brook, died Thursday morning, Feb. 14, 1991, at the Adirondack Medical Center here following a long illness.

He was born May 7, 1901 in Rochester, the son of Michael and Catherine (Hieb) Riebel. He married Stella Zustavna on May 21, 1923 in New York City.

Riebel worked as head chief and craftsman at the Ray Brook Tuberculosis Hospital until he retired in 1956. He was an active Member of the Republican Party for the Town of North Elba and was a member of the Whiteface Mountain Chapter of the Free and Accepted Masons. Riebel built the first motel in the area, Riebel's Motel, which consisted of cabins, a gas station and a restaurant. He owned and operated two motels, one in Saranac Lake and one in Ray Brook, from 1935 until present. Riebel owned and operated the Clown House Restaurant across from the Ray Brook Motel, where he used waitresses on roller skates to serve customers in their own cars, with trays that attached to the side of the cars.

Through Ray Brook Hospital administrator Dr. Bray, Riebel was also the originator for the Ray Brook Water System. Well-known for his craftsmanship, he made many wooden articles including toys, clocks and lawn decorations.

Survivors include his wife; three sons, George Jr., David L., and Gary C., all of Clifton Park; two daughters, Mrs. Oliver (Virginia) Queior and Mrs. Warner (Rosalind) Deitz, both of Ray Brook; 10 grandchildren; one great-granddaughter; and several nieces and nephews.

Calling hours will be from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Friday at the Keough and Son Funeral Home. A Masonic service will be held at 7:30. A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at the First United Methodist Church, with the Rev. Robert Lowenthal officiating.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association in care of the funeral home.

Lake Placid News, August 30, 1957

Riebel North Elba Resident 37 Years

George Riebel, who is a candidate for nomination as assessor for the town of North Elba for a two-year term, was born May 7, 1901 and came to the Town of North Elba 37 years ago, residing ever since in Ray Brook.

He started work at the Ray Brook state hospital 35 years ago. first employed as a waiter, then as a baker's helper and finally worked himself from kitchen helper to head cook, holding the position for 30 years.

Mr. Riebel has five children, all born and Irving in North Elba. The oldest child attends Syracuse University where he is studying architecture. Another son, Dave, was a graduate of Cornell University at the age of 21 and is going in the army with an officer's rating of second lieutenant. One daughter is married and another daughter manages a motel business with her mother. The youngest son is still in high school.

Mr. Riebel has been the owner of Riebel's motel and cabins which has been operated by the family for 20 years. He is a former committeeman of the Town of North Elba, has been a deputy sheriff and school trustee and now is one of the water commissioners for the Ray Brook district.

Mr. Riebel was appointed by the town board last spring to fill the unexpired term of George Alford as assessor and is campaigning to retain that position

From Ree Rickard Oral History Interviews

George Reibel was a chef in Rochester when his wife, Ella, became sick so he became a cook at Raybrook. He wanted to be close to her. She was a hemorrhage case. She was a very sick girl. On Sunday evenings he put her in a wheelchair and wheel her down to the kitchen for a big dinner. Many times he’d invite John and I to have dinner with them in the kitchen after it closed. It was lovely. We put a nice white linen on the table with everything on it and lit candles. It was right handy and George could have Ella with him. It made it nice, kind of romantic. They ended up running a motel for years and are still around.