Willard Richard Rieger was born on June 6th, 1922 in Pipestone, Minnesota to Harrison and Dora Bell Rieger. Willard, beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, was peacefully called home to be with Jesus on December 7, 2011. He was the fifth born of nine children. Willard moved to California when he was 12 years old. He graduated from Lathrop Grammar School and Manteca High School. He was a gifted athlete in both football and baseball. Willard married his high school sweetheart, Frankie Albertsen in 1944.
Willard served four years in the U.S. Army during WWII in the South Pacific. Upon returning from the war, he and Frankie settled in Lathrop to raise their family. Willard worked in farming, mosquito abatement, Permanentes Magnesium plant, Stockton Armature Works, and for the U.S. Post Office as a rural mail carrier.
Willard lived life to the fullest. He was an avid duck, pheasant, quail, and dove hunter as well as a terrific fisherman. He took pride in supplying his neighbor’s with delicious fruits and vegetables from his garden.
Willard was an active member of SIRS, Veterans of Foreign War and the American Legion.
He is survived by his wife, Frankie, his daughters; Kathryn Grimm of Ripon, Nancy Tasker and husband Jim of Scotts Valley, Pam Rieger and fiancé Marvin of Stockton and Melissa Esau and husband Mike of Stockton; his grandchildren; Karri Gallagher and husband Jeff of Hanford, Janna Brocchini and husband Steve of Ripon, Randy Grimm and wife Nicole of Manteca, Erika Jones and husband Derek of Sacramento, and Katherine and Frank Esau of Stockton. He has 11 greatgrandchildren. He is also survived by his sisters, Eloise Crettol of Lodi and Barbara Campbell and husband Phil of Sacramento as well as brother-in-law, Randy Albertsen of Ripon, and many nieces and nephews.
Services for Mr. Rieger are under the direction of P.L. Fry and Son Funeral Home, 290 North Union Road, Manteca. Visitation will be Wednesday, December 14th, 2011 at 9:00 am with a celebration of his life immediately following at 10:00 am. For condolences to the family please visit our website at www.plfryandson.com (search obituaries). The family respectfully request that donations be made to Shriner’s Children Hospital of Sacramento, Hospice of San Joaquin, St. Paul’s Methodist Church, Manteca Historical Society, or your favorite charity of choice.
The family wants to thank the exemplary nursing and support staff at Doctors Hospital of Manteca. A special thanks to Doctor Wolf and the Intensive Care Unit for their compassionate care and support.
Manteca (Calif.) Bulletin
Friday, Dec. 9, 2011