Obituary: Laurien Eugene Riehl
Laurien Eugene Riehl passed away June 3, 2009, at St. James Hospital, in Butte, Mont., of natural causes surrounded by his family.
Laurien was born in Carson City Aug. 18, 1923, to Laurien Amidon Riehl and Marie Marguerite (Schulz) Riehl. He attended schools in Carson City and graduated from Carson High School. He attended the University of Nevada-Reno.
Laurien was a World War II Veteran. He completed training at the U.S. Naval Training School for machinist’s mates on the campus of the University of Minnesota. Following his training in 1942 he served with the U.S. Navy at the Naval Supply Depot in Fremantle, Western Australia. After his service in the Navy he returned home to Nevada and worked as a brakeman for the Virginia & Truckee Railroad, where his father was an engineer.
Following his discharge from the Navy he returned to Carson City, where he married Betty McNeil, of Carson City. They were married for 44 years. They have five children: Carolyn, Lorraine, Jeannie, Diana, and Laurien.
Engineering projects took Laurien and his family to Long Beach, Calif., Carson City, Lake Tahoe, Yerington, Terra Haute, Ind., Columbia Falls, Mont., Kalispell, Mont., Whitefish, Mont., and Stockton, Calif. While working for the Anaconda Company he helped design the town site of Yerington. While working in Butte he became a senior design engineer and worked in the Hennessey Building.
After he retired from the Anaconda Company he worked on many volunteer design projects, including Our Lady of the Rockies. Laurien helped design the inside structure of the statue so that it would withstand the high winds on the Continental Divide.
Laurien was an avid hunter and enjoyed fishing and camping with his family. He enjoyed researching and writing historical books about Lewis and Clark and the history of mining in Butte. Another of his joys was watching his grandchildren and great-grandchildren grow up. Laurien is a descendant of a Revolutionary War Patriot and is also a Mayflower descendant.
Laurien was preceded in death by his wife, Betty Mildred (McNeil) Riehl, and his parents.
Laurien is survived by a sister, Thelma Loeltz, of Mesa, Ariz. four daughters and a son Carolyn (Jim) Mirich, of Tigard, Ore.; Lorraine (Walt) Hermiston, of Plains, Mont.; Jeannie (Fred) Olsen, of Dillon, Mont.; Diana (Rodd) Farrow, of Butte, Mon,; Laurien (Kathi Morgan) Riehl, of Missoula.
His grandchildren and step-grandchildren are Hayley Mirich, Lacey Hermiston, Kyle Hermiston, Rochelle Farrow (Tyler) Garrison, Joseph Farrow, Christy Coyne (Pete) Wyborney, Eric (Lindsey) Olsen, Chad (Tiffany) Olsen, Jeremiah (Tristen) Coyne, Josh Coyne, Travis Olsen, Austin Olsen, Danielle Beasley (daughter of Kathi Morgan).
Laurien has the following great-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren: Sarah Welborn, Lilly Wyborney, Heather Wyborney, Britanee Korb, Jaden Korb, Trinity Olsen, Ronan Olsen, Bridger Garrison, and Ava Beasley. He is also survived by his sister-in-law, Elinor Berger, of Carson City, and many nieces and nephews. Laurien is survived by a special friend Eileen Davis.
Visitation will begin 5 p.m. followed by a vigil service at 7 p.m., Friday, at Wayrynen-Richards Funeral Home. Liturgy of the Resurrection will be 10 a.m., Saturday, celebrated at St. Ann’s Catholic Church. Interment with military honors will be1 p.m., Monday at Plains Cemetery in Plains, Mont.
Memorial donations may be made to Our Lady of the Rockies or other charities of choice.
Our thanks to the staff of St. James Community Hospital.