Richard Gildenmeister

July 10, 1932 ~ December 17, 2020 (age 88)


Richard Lee Gildenmeister, went to be In the loving arms of his Heavenly Father On Thursday, December 17th, 2020. Born July 10th, 1932 to Frances and Corrine Gildenmeister, he attended Bellevue schools from where he graduated in 1951. He graduated from Capital University in 1955 and shortly after his graduation, he joined the Higbee company in their junior executive training program.

It was there where he meant Anne Udin one of the nations top book authorities and the head of Higbee’s book department in Cleveland. He became her assistant, and was there, under her tutelage that he fell in love with books. Being the marketing person he was, it was his idea to bring authors into the store for book signings. It was through that where he meant and became friends of such authors as Jacqueline Suzann, Helga Sanberg, Barbra Walters, Truman Capote, along with numerous others.

On December 6 1976 he opened Richard Gildenmeister Bookstore on the Square at his beloved Shaker Square. The opening was an event of who’s who of Cleveland, with dignitaries Such as Sam Miller founder of Forest Cities Enterprises, Helga Sanberg, Dr. George Crile world renown surgeon of the Cleveland Clinic, Mayor Ralph Perk, and longtime channel five news anchor and good friend Dorthy Fuldheim, who did the honors of cutting the ribbon.  He had it for five years. However, due to the economic times he closed the store in 1981. He went on, however, to become a master bookseller for another 33 years

In 2004 Terry Troy wrote “Cleveland Classics great stories from the north coast ". It is a book of sixty people who came or grew up in Cleveland and had profound effect on the cities culture. Richard was so proud to have his story be told along the likes Bob Feller, Sam Rutigliano, Brian Sipe, Austin Carr, Louis Stokes and others. Richard’s courage to live his life openly and honestly helped to pave the way for others. To say that Richard lived a full life is an understatement. He will be missed by all those who crossed his path as he never meant a stranger he didn't like!  

He is survived by a brother Douglas (Suzanne) Gildenmeister, sister in law Jacqueline (Charles Gildenmeister), nephews and nieces Charles D. (Holly) Gildenmeister, Scott (Jill) Gildenmeister, Mark (God son) Gildenmeister, Lisa (Todd)  Davis, Steven(Jean) Siesel, Greg (Barb) Siesel, Pam Meeks, Scott ( Kathy) Meeks, Nicole Miller, Jason (Brooke) Gildenmeister and 26 great nephews and nieces.

He was preceded in passing by his mother Corrine Gildenmeister, his father Frances Gildenmeister, sister Jacqueline Meeks, brother Charles W. Gildenmeister, and nephew Mike Siesel.

There will be calling hours at the Foos and Foos Funeral Service, 151 Yorkshire Place, Bellevue, OH from 2:00 -4:00 PM, Tuesday, December 29, 2020.  Private interment will follow at York Cemetery.

 Contributions may be made to the donor’s choice.

Memories and condolences may be shared at:





To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Richard Gildenmeister, please visit our floral store.


Funeral Service
December 29, 2020

4:00 PM
Yorkshire Place (Bellevue)

December 29, 2020

York Cemetery, Bellevue
CR 292
Bellevue, Ohio 44811

December 30, 2020

9:14 AM to 7:00 PM
Foos & Foos Funeral Service
151 Yorkshire Place
Bellevue, OH - Ohio 44811

© 2021 Foos and Foos Funeral Service. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy