From Illinois Business Journal news services
EAST ST. LOUIS — Ainad Shriners of Southern recently elected a new potentate (chapter president), William “Bill” Reidelberger.
Reidelberger (left) was born in Belleville in 1942 and grew up primarily in O’Fallon with the guidance of parents Robert W. and Berneice Reidelberger. He attended O’Fallon schools and enlisted in the Navy in 1960.
During the next 21 years he rose through the ranks, completed pilot training and became a naval aviator. He was a fighter/recon pilot aboard several aircraft carriers and served two combat tours in Vietnam. He amassed 600+ aircraft carrier landings and nearly 100 combat missions. His decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross, which was awarded for “Heroism in Aerial Flight on May 23, 1972.” He retired from active service in 1981 with the rank of lieutenant commander.
He completed his bachelor’s degree in international relations at the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA in 1976 and his MBA degree at National University San Diego in 1982.
Since leaving naval service he has worked in sales and management primarily in the auto industry and co-founded Gator’s Frozen Custard in O’Fallon where he served as president. He is currently retired.
He married the former Beth Thomas of O’Fallon in 1972. They have a son, Robert T. “Rob” Reidelberger, and granddaughters, Analiese and Lauren. Bill’s mother, Berneice, who is recently deceased, was past worthy matron of the O’Fallon Eastern Star, a member of the Ainad Belles and Daughters of the Nile. Beth is a member of Al Sihah Temple No. 29 Daughters of the Nile.
Bill was raised a Master Mason in El Cajon Valley Lodge 576 on June 25, 1984, and is presently a member of Heartland Lodge 576 El Cajon, Calif. He joined the Scottish Rite Bodies of Southern Illinois and Ainad Shriners in 1988.
His grandfather, William Reidelberger, and father, Robert W. Reidelberger were Master Masons and Shriners as is his son, Rob. Bill has been a longtime member of Ainad Color Guard, member and past president of Dania Shrine Club, a sojourner, past chairman of the Ainad Circus and a member of the Director’s Staff.
He is a past director of Southern Illinois Court 86 Royal Order of Jesters.