JOHN GEORGE RIEHL

JOHN GEORGE RIEHL

If there is a heaven a new gardener has just arrived to take charge of the roses. JOHN GEORGE RIEHL (1917-2009) passed away on January 22nd at his home in Kelowna in the presence of his family and dear friend, Mary Brown. George was the son of John and Elsie Riehl of Burstall, Sask., brother of Violet (Riehl) Heggart and Winifrid Riehl. All are deceased. He is survived by his daughter, Patricia (Fred) Rice, grandchildren Susan, Karen and Kevin, plus 4 great grandchildren of Ottawa, Ontario, as well as nephew Douglas (Diane) Heggart and their children in Ontario, and good friend Mary Brown of Kelowna. Also surviving are a large number of cousins throughout Western Canada. George was predeceased by his first wife, Pearl (Ward ) of Sherbrook, Quebec, and second wife Thea (Burman) of Saskatchewan. George was born in England . Son of a soldier serving in the Canadian Army and a British mother , a volunteer nurse who fell in love with the wounded soldier. In 1918 the family returned to Saskatchewan where his father had homesteaded. George was schooled in the fundamentals of fixing everything by his grandfather Henry and also by being a youth during the Depression. He moved from Burstall to Regina for education and played for the Regina Dales. An early interest in airplanes led him to apply for the RCAF, was turned down, and so he joined the Army, only to be accepted by the RCAF later but too late. He served in Europe as an officer of the Canadian Army, returning home wounded and ended up back in Burstall. Eventually he returned to Regina where he was a pioneer in TV repair for Simpsons, another stint in the Canadian Army, and finally a career in teaching at the Regina Boys School. Retirement brought him the rewards of time and besides gardening, at the age of 69 he obtained his Pilot Licence. In the early 1980’s he and Thea moved to Kelowna where he continued his gardening but stopped flying, as he said “there is lots of places to land in the prairies, but none in the mountains”!. For the past eleven years he and Mary Brown have travelled to Hawaii, Alaska and Cuba; always enjoying life and being active. For 50+ years he has been a member of the Masonic Lodge and a Shriner, as well as a member of the Legion and Elks. There will be no funeral service, but a Memorial Tea was held Sunday, January 25th in Kelowna. Many many friends paid him tribute. In lieu of flowers donations to B.C. Childrens Hospital 4480 Oak St., Vancouver, BC V6H3V4; Elks and Royal Purple Fund for Children, 100-2629 29th Ave., Regina,. Sask. S4S 9Z9; or Canadian Cancer Society Southern Interior Rotary Lodge, 2251 Abbott St., Kelowna, BC V1Y1E2. A donation to either of these charities would be in keeping with his wishes.


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