Rodney (Rod) James Rieken Oct. 19, 1931-Jan. 11, 2018

Rodney (Rod) James Rieken

     Rodney (Rod) James Rieken passed away Jan. 11, 2018 after a courageous and valiant five-month fight to regain his health. He died suddenly at St. John’s Mercy hospital in St. Louis, Mo., in the surround of his family’s love and support. Rodney and his wife of 63 years, Alice M. Rieken (nee Herren), reside at 408 Bourbeuse Rd. in Union, Mo. Born in Monticello, Iowa, on Oct. 19, 1931, he counted himself blessed to be born into an extensive and honorable lineage. His parents were Johann Wilhelm and Clara Rieken (nee Zimmerman). The late Milton James Rieken of Monticello was his brother.

     Rod received his early education in a one-room schoolhouse in Langworthy, Iowa. He received his Christian education and confirmation at Wayne Zion Lutheran Church, Jones County, Iowa. He graduated from Monticello High School in 1949 enjoying track and football. He was an exemplary student and athlete. After graduation, he worked on the family farm in rural Langworthy prior to his enlistment in the Korean War. He served as an engineer in Army H/S CO, 79th Combat Engineers and served between Seoul and Japan mustering out as a Corporal in 1954 with profound hearing loss.

     Rod and Alice married at Wayne Zion Church Nov. 26, 1954 officiated by Rev. Kahren. During their early-married life, Rod returned to school at Iowa State University receiving his undergraduate degree in business. Two daughters were born during the school years; Annie Rieken (David Van Lieshout) rural Monroe County, Ill., and Ruth Ratican (Roger) formerly of Fullerton, Calif. Lynn Boresi (Glennon), Union, Mo., was born in Kansas City, Kan., during Rod’s early business career there.

     In 1966, the family moved to St. Louis, Mo., under Rod’s Civilian Service contract as a Logistician Specialist in the Department of the Army. In 1975, Rod was intrinsic to the Viet Nam conflict bugout in advance of Ho Chi Mienh and the North Vietnamese Army. He received citations for Outstanding Civilian Service and commendations from many Brigadier Generals to include Gen. George Patton Jr. From St. Louis, the couple accepted assignments abroad, continued their education, and traveled extensively. Upon return to St. Louis, the couple owned and ran Park Avenue Bed and Breakfast for six years prior to a move north for 12 years to Kirksville, Mo., where they invested in property renovations. They moved to Union, Mo., in 2013 to be nearer family, one of whom was Christine Winchester. Christine had been a member of the family for over 40 years, then in March of 2014, all agreed to solemnize the family unit and the couple officially adopted their youngest daughter, Christine Winchester (Bob) of Union. Thus, at 83 years young, the Riekens became the oldest adoptive couple in Missouri; bringing 20 additional family members into the fold.

     Rodney was humble about his professional accomplishments but proudest and unabashedly vocal about his 11 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren. He thoroughly delighted in the adventures of his grandchildren. Rodney was a risk taker and an encouraging role model; his credo was, up to the end, “Never give up. Never give up. Never give up!” Cherished for his unyielding faith, his gentleness, his off-the-floor bear hugs and humor, he was a fun man. He was a spectacular gentleman and bearer of the fruits of the spirit. His wife, Alice daughters Annie, Lynn and Christine and their spouses survive him. He is preceded in death by his parents, brother, a daughter and her husband, Ruth and Roger Ratican, and infant great granddaughter Zoe Manhart. We honor this man: our husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, friend, neighbor and our hero.

     The funeral was held Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018 10 a.m. at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Union, Mo., with military honors. Burial commitment is at Wayne Zion Lutheran Church in Jones County, Iowa, Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018, 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to Children’s Advocacy, 301 East State St., Union, MO 63084. 


Subscriber Login