Gerald Clarence Riechmann, age 95, of Mount Vernon, Illinois, passed away at 3:23 P.M. on Monday, September 28, 2020, at Lavender Ridge Dignified Memory Care in Mount Vernon, Illinois. He was born on March 2, 1925, in Centralia, Illinois, the son of Ferdinand and Martha (Oestreich) Riechmann.
Mr. Riechmann is survived by his nieces, Martha Lamczyk and husband Barney of Du Bois, Illinois and Gaylia Criner and husband Richard of Centralia, Illinois; nephew, Charles Atherton and wife Mary of Centralia, Illinois; great-nieces, Noel Howard, Janelle Criner and Heidi Livesay; great-nephews, Christopher Lamczyk and Jason Criner; great-great-nephew, Emmaus Livesay and great-great-niece, Emily Howard.
Mr. Riechmann was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Irvin Riechmann and Ferdinand Riechmann; sisters, Velma Eunice Atherton and Frieda Riechmann and infant sister, Viola Riechmann.
Mr. Riechmann made his First Confirmation at Saint Peter United Church of Christ in Centralia, Illinois. He was a member of Saint John United Church of Christ in Collinsville, Illinois. He graduated with Centralia Township High School’s “Class of 1943.” Mr. Riechmann was a veteran of the U.S. Army, proudly serving his country during World War II from November 24, 1943 until January 4, 1946. It was during his service in the infantry, he received his Combat Infantry Badge, Purple Heart, Efficiency Honor Fidelity, European African Middle Eastern Campaign, American Campaign and Army of Occupation medals. After returning from serving his country, Mr. Riechmann graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Bradley University and a Master’s Degree in Psychology from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. He was a math teacher and school counselor until he retired in 1980 from Wirth Junior High School in Cahokia, Illinois.
Mr. Riechmann was a member of Veteran of Foreign Wars Post 8677 in Fairview Heights, Illinois. He was a V.F.W. Post Chaplain from 1999 to 2000 and from 2001 to 2002. He was a member of Veteran of Foreign Wars Post 5691 in Collinsville, Illinois, where he carried the U.S. Flag for many years in the Collinsville Veteran’s parades. He was a member of the Saint Louis Gateway Chapter Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge. Mr. Riechmann was a member of the Teacher’s Retirement Group. During his teaching years, he toured the United States and Mexico earning certificates in the Division of Educational Travel. As a member of the Cahokia Federation of Teachers, he and fellow teachers participated in the 1976 union picketing strike, and when the police intervened with this strike, he and many of his pals fled to neighboring states.
Mr. Riechmann was an avid fan of the Saint Louis Cardinals and a big fan of Stan Musial. In his spare time, he wrote articles for the Belleville News Democrat. He also traveled throughout the United States, playing slots at many gambling establishments. He enjoyed bird watching and building birdhouses and watching the 5 O’clock News and “Wheel Of Fortune.” Mr. Riechmann’s friends were his world to him. Every summer, he could be found in his yard growing tomatoes under the gutters, so he did not need to water them as often and he gave them out to his friends to be enjoyed by them. He enjoyed a good cup of coffee and margaritas with his friends during Happy Hour. He liked to frequent local restaurants and taverns and take walks alone or with his friends in Long Acre Park in Fairview Heights, Illinois. During the last years of his life, he lived in Mount Vernon, Illinois, and formerly lived in Du Bois, Illinois and Caseyville, Illinois.
Graveside Services for Mr. Gerald Clarence Riechmann will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Saturday, October 3, 2020, at Hillcrest Memorial Park near Centralia, Illinois with Pastor Beverly Kahle officiating. Friends are asked to go directly to the cemetery on Saturday. Military Honors will be accorded by Centralia V.F.W. Post 2055 and American Legion Post 446. The family asks those who are attending to please be mindful of social distancing, wear a mask, and take any health precautions necessary to ensure a healthy environment. Interment will follow in Hillcrest Memorial Park near Centralia, Illinois. There will be a private Family Gathering at the Moran Queen-Boggs Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Mr. Riechmann’s honor to Marion VA Medical Center in Marion, Illinois, and may be received by the Moran Queen-Boggs Funeral Home at 134 South Elm Street in Centralia, Illinois. Please view the online obituary, send condolences or share memories with Mr. Riechmann’s family at www.moranfuneralhome.net or on the Moran Queen-Boggs Funeral Home’s Facebook page.
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Marion VA Medical Center
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