Ray Rieger served in France, Germany during World War II

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Ray Rieger, 89, of Bowdle, died Friday, May 18, 2012, at the Bowdle Nursing Home.

Funeral services were held Monday, May 21, 2012, at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Bowdle, with Rev. Mark Gullerud leading the service.

Burial, with military graveside rites by the Bowdle American Legion Post No. 264, followed at the church cemetery under the direction of Lien Funeral Home of Bowdle.

Rayfeld Chester Rieger, son of Frieda (Lemke) and Fred Rieger, was born Aug. 2, 1922, on a farm two miles north of Bowdle. His formal education consisted of Northwest (Lemke) School, 7th and 8th grade at Wisconsin Synod Parochial School in Bowdle, and Bowdle High School, Class of 1940.

He farmed briefly with his dad and brother, Arnold. At age 19, he moved to California where he was employed at Douglas Aircraft in the tool and die department building dive-bombers. Ray served his country in the United States Army, being inducted Nov. 17, 1944. A veteran of WW II, Ray served in France and Germany. Following his honorable discharge on Aug. 17, 1946, he returned to farm with Arnold.

Ray married Java school teacher Wanda Wederhoft at Trinity Lutheran Church in Mansfield on June 11, 1952. They settled on Ray’s farm north of Bowdle. Ray continued operating the farm until 1983, when his son Loel took over. Although retired, Ray continued to stay real active on the farm until the late 1990s.

At age 70, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Since January 2008, he had lived at the Bowdle Nursing Home.
Ray was a founding member of Redeemer Lutheran Church, served many years on the Bowdle TWSHP Board, was on the Cenex Board, and was a longtime substitute rural mail carrier. Ray enjoyed hunting, fishing, watching sports events, and, while in the service, did a lot of boxing.

Mr. Rieger is survived by Wanda, his wife of 59 years; two sons, Laine Rieger of Tulsa, Okla., and Loel (Mary Lynn) Rieger of Rapid City; two daughters, Linda (John) Fritz and Lorie Vincent, both of Aberdeen; one brother, Arnold (Agnes) Rieger of Bowdle; one sister, Jenettie Miesen of Plymouth, Minn.; 12 grandchildren, Daniel Fritz, Amy Jakobsen, Britt Rieger, Courtney Rieger, Amber Rieger, Lonna Rieger, Todesa Smiley, Desiree Rieger, Christopher Rieger, Chad Rieger, Chance Rieger, and Jessie Goodwin; and 13 great-grandchildren.

Ray was preceded in death by his father on March 22, 1981, and his mother on Dec. 1, 1972.

Ray’s grandchildren served as casket bearers. Organist was Eileen McEnroe and ushers were Blake Eisenbeisz and Doug Larson.

To leave an online condolence or to view the tribute video, please visit www.MillerLienFH.com.

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