Richard Leo Riehl, 75, of Cedar Rapids, IA, passed away May 12 following a short illness. Richard was born on June 13, 1945, the ninth child of John and Clara Riehl, in a family of ten children. He grew up on a farm outside Payton, Iowa and had fond memories of a youth spent working and playing in the fields and barns with his siblings. The family had several animals but he had his own special pet – Rodney, a squirrel he found in the grain bin and nurtured back to health.
Richard spent his career in construction, working for 40 years at Menefee Drywall, a job he greatly enjoyed. He was incredibly handy and could build or fix anything, a talent he generously shared with family and friends. The city is filled with projects that display his skills, from humble treehouses to multistory office buildings.
Richard’s true passion was his family. He was married to Kay (Sutter) for 52 years. They had four children, all of whom absolutely adored their dad and agree that it would be impossible to find a more loving, patient, sweet and funny father. One of their fondest memories is of his bedtime stories about “Joey the monkey”. He went on to share these stories and his wonderfully warm presence with his four grandchildren.
Richard will be remembered for his incredible generosity. He was completely selfless, always focused on helping and caring for others. He will also be remembered for his youthful spirit, including his love of jokes, magic, games and silly songs. His favorite food (eaten daily) was ice cream, especially homemade vanilla. His rule was that if you didn’t help crank it you couldn’t eat it (although there are no reports of anyone ever being denied a scoop).
Richard loved the outdoors, hunting for morel mushrooms with his kids and going on birding adventures with Kay. He worked a side job at the Indian Creek Nature Centre for twenty years simply because he enjoyed spending time in the woods and prairies.
Richard was preceded in death by his parents and his siblings Margie, Bill, Betty, John, Darlene, Mary Lou, Jim and Doug. He is survived by his wife Kay; his children Anastasia (Jennifer) Riehl of Toronto, Lance (Nancy) Riehl of Colorado Springs, Natasha Riehl of Cedar Rapids and Karissa Riehl of New York City; his grandchildren Ezri, Gabe, Manny and Leo Emile; his brother Bob (Nancy) Riehl, sister-in-law Georgie Riehl, brother-in-law Bill Kassen; close cousin Frank Riehl; many nieces and nephews; his wife’s extended family; wonderful long-term friends; honorary grandson Ashton Mauderer; and countless community members working in local establishments who always enjoyed seeing his friendly face walk in the door.
There will be a visitation on Sunday, May 16 from 3:00-6:00 at the Chapel Stateroom at Cedar Memorial and a service on Monday, May 17 at 10:30 at the Chapel of Memories at Cedar Memorial. Following the service there will be a lunch at the Indian Creek Nature Centre at 12:30. Memorial donations can be made to the Indian Creek Nature Centre. Following the continued proclamations issued by the Governor, physical distancing must be practiced which may require a limited number of people allowed into a visitation at one time and limited seating available at services. The use of facial coverings is strongly encouraged.
A livestream of the funeral service may be accessed on the funeral home website under the obituary for Richard Riehl, under the video tab starting at 10:30 AM on Monday, May 17.