Nov. 16, 1927- Sept. 3, 2017
LeoRoy Jacob Rieger, 89, of Esmond, ND passed away Sunday, September 3, 2017 at the Altru Hospital in Grand Forks, ND. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 9:30AM Saturday, September 9, 2017 at the St. Boniface Catholic Church in Esmond, ND with Fr. Brian Bachmeier celebrating. Visitation will take place at the church Friday, September 8, 2017 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM with a Rosary at 7:00 PM and Vigil Service to follow at 7:30 PM. Burial will take place at the St. Boniface Catholic Cemetery in Esmond, ND. Casket Bearers will be all of LeRoy’s grandsons: Lee Rieger, Bill Boldenow, Rodney Boldenow, Randy Boldenow, Tim Rieger, Brian Rieger,
Tyler Rieger, Travis Rieger, Jason Roerick, Skylar Ouart, Brady Ouart, Jayden Ouart, Michael Rieger, Cody Willoughby and Dylan Willoughby.
LeoRoy Jacob was born November 16, 1927, on the family farm west of Esmond, ND to Vincent and Francis (Sander) Rieger. He had six brothers and sisters. LeRoy
was raised in Esmond and educated in the rural school near there. At the age of nine, he taught himself how to play the banjo and joined his father’s band, The Vincent
Rieger Band. LeRoy loved helping his dad on the family farm. LeRoy took over the family farm in 1948 and the family band continued to play for dances for a number of years before Vincent’s passing. On April 2, 1951, LeRoy was united in marriage to Irene Lauinger, daughter of Michael and Cecilia Lauinger, at the St. Boniface Catholic Church in Esmond, ND. The couple farmed mostly wheat and raised cattle and turkeys. During the winter of 1959, they built a large Quonset for the purpose of raising turkeys. Raising 22,000 birds annually, it was the largest turkey farm in the tri-state area and annually a Rieger turkey was served on the Governor’s
Thanksgiving table. In 1962, the Quonset was refurbished and ‘LeRoy’s Quonset’ took off on its own and became a hotspot for dances, parties and roller-skating. The
Quonset also housed many political rallies, including four Governors as guests of honor. On November 30, 1985, the Quonset had caught fire and was damaged beyond repair.
LeRoy worked as an electrician in Minneapolis for a number of years re-turning back to full time farming in 1973. LeRoy and Irene’s nine children grew up and were all in the school band. LeRoy organized the children to play as a band and even composed many songs. The family formed The Rieger Family Polka Band and played for dances, weddings, night clubs, polka fest, parades, polka mass and political rallies all over North Dakota, Minnesota and into Canada. They also toured Europe in 1978-1979 with the band playing in Germany on both trips.LeRoy and Irene retired from farming in the mid 1990’s. In April 2001, the couple celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with their children and grandchildren. Irene passed away just a few short months later in October. LeRoy really enjoyed playing his accordion for anyone who would listen, loved dancing and playing the slot machines. He was a 50 year member of the Eagles Club, the Elks Club, the Moose Club, the IBEW Electrical Union Local 292 and the Crazy Fingers Accordion Club. LeRoy was also a member of the Esmond Senior Citizens and a member of the St. Boniface Catholic Church for the past 80 years.
LeRoy is survived by his children, Michael (Jocelyn) Rieger of Bennington, NE, Bonnie (Ralph) Boldenow of Rosemount, MN, Terry (Susan) Rieger of Grand Forks, ND, Kenny (Judy Schmaltz) Rieger of Harvey, ND, Mark (Roxanne) Rieger of Beulah, ND, Marvilyn (Gary) Roerick of Rugby, ND, Marilyn (Rusty) Ouart of Fargo, ND, James Rieger of Grand Forks, ND and Darla (Scott) Willoughby of Fargo, ND; 26 grandchildren; 23 great-grandchildren; sister, Gloria Young of Willows, CA; brother-in-law,
Clem Vetter of Minot, ND; sisters-in-law, Barbara Zacher of Tacoma, WA and Bernadine Selensky of Anaconda, MT.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Irene; his parents, Vincent and Francis Rieger; father and mother-in-law, Mike and Cecelia Lauinger; siblings, John (Arkie) Rieger, Theresa (Bill) Thompson, Rochus (Christine) Rieger, Agatha (Anton) Zacher and Marie Vetter; brother-in-law, Boyd Young; sisters-in-law, Catherine Lauinger and Evangeline Rieger; brothers-in-law, Daniel Zacher, Raymond Selesky and Wendlin Reiger.
Online condolences may be left at www.thenelsonfuneralhome.com
The Nelson Funeral Home of Maddock, ND is in charge of the arrangements.
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