The 2021 Olympic Games begin this week. Did you know that among Forest Lawn’s permanent residents is an Olympic gold medalist?
Charles Reidpath. Born in Buffalo, and a graduate of Lafayette High School, it was while at Syracuse University 1908 – 1912 that Reidpath became a collegiate track star, winning the 220 yd (201 m) and 440 yd (402 m) dashes in the 1912 intercollegiate games. On graduating from Syracuse in 1912 with a degree in civil engineering, Reidpath was pressured by relatives to quit sports and take a position with the family business in Buffalo.
Instead, he made the U.S. Olympic track team, and headed to Stockholm, Sweden. He took home two gold medals. Reidpath won the 400 m in an Olympic record shattering time of 48.2 seconds. Then, running the anchor leg of the 4 × 400 m relay, Reidpath helped the U.S. team set a world record of 3:16.6. In the 200 metres competition he finished fifth.
Mr, Reidpath was also a U.S. military veteran. He was a Lieutenant Colonel who served in England, France and Belgium in the Transportation Corps during World War II, winning battle stars for the Northern France and Rheinland campaigns. Reidpath was made a Brigadier General when he retired from the New York National Guard in 1948.
He is a member of the Lafayette High School Sports Hall of fame and was inducted into the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame in 2007. His cousin was Isabelle Reidpath Martin, wife of Darwin Martin. Charles Reidpath died in Kenmore in 1975 and is buried in Section 1 in Forest Lawn.