The southern end of Ridgefield’s sunny Main Street this past Saturday was dappled black with mourners attending a wake for the recently deceased David Riek, whose body was found eight days ago after a manhunt which spanned three miles and involved hundreds of people.
Those who knew Riek, who was 44, remembered him as being a warm, kind family man of good humor.
“Dave always struck me as one of life's ‘good guys.' He didn't have jealousy or ill will against anyone. He smiled easily, adored his wife and kids and had a patient warmth about him,” said friend Jill Hickey.
“He was an amazing man, a loving father and clearly devoted to his beautiful wife, Naomi,” said Steve Gormley, a friend of Riek’s.
Riek’s death affected those who did not know him directly, too. The call for volunteers had over 400 volunteers looking for Riek, and just as many were concerned. The news of his demise rippled throughout the community.
Kathy Pakela, who lives on Ivy Hill and participated in the search for Riek last week said she burst into tears when she heard of his death.
“If only David had known how many people cared about him and how many lives he had touched…some people [on the search] said, ‘I didn’t know him, but I would see him run every day!’” said Pakela. “My heart goes out to his wife, his three beautiful children and all his wonderful friends.”
Riek was remembered on September 16 at Kane’s Funeral Home during a wake which lasted from 2 to 6 p.m. He will be missed dearly, but clearly not forgotten.