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Alice M. Rieken

1931 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Alice M. Rieken Obituary
Alice Margaret Rieken, nee Herren, 86, passed away Friday, June 1, 2018, after complications due to a fall earlier in the week. She died peaceably in the arms of her daughters and in the surround of her family's love in New Haven, with the assistance of hospice.

Alice was the proud wife, over 63 years, of the late Rodney J. Rieken, who passed Jan. 12, 2018. Their former home was 408 Bourbeuse Road in Union. Alice was born at home in Amber, Iowa, near Anamosa, Oct. 13, 1931, to George H. and Hannah M. Herren, nee Otten.

She was preceded in death by her husband; daughter and son-in-law, Ruth and Roger Ratican; great-granddaughter, Zoe Manhart; her parents; and sisters, Ruth, in infancy, and Elverna Bergen.

Daughters, Annie, Lynn and Christine, their spouses, a sister, Betty Adams, Coralville, Iowa, 11 grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren, survive Alice.

Alice received her Christian education and confirmation at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Anamosa, Iowa. Alice dedicated herself to superb educational standards in spite of many moves throughout her youth between Springville, Perry and Anamosa, Iowa. The school venues changed, but her standard of excellence won her honors at her graduation in 1949 from Anamosa High School, where she was a drum majorette. Alice then pursued secondary education in Omaha, Neb., which initiated her research career and ultimately brought her back to laboratory analysis in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She was independent and self-supportive for six years, up to her marriage to Rod.

Alice and Rod met at a country dance, amidst a group of friends, and developed a pen pal relationship throughout Rod's tour in Korea. Upon return from Korea, they continued to date for a short while before their marriage at Rod's home church, Wayne Zion Lutheran Church on Nov. 26, 1954, officiated by Rev. Kahren. During their early married life, Alice supported Rod's return to school at Iowa State University. Two daughters were born during this time, Annie M. Rieken (Dave Van Lieshout) of rural Monroe County Ill., and Ruth L. Ratican (Roger), formerly of Fullerton, Calif.. Following Rod's career path to Kansas City, Kan. third daughter, Lynn K. Boresi (Glen) of Union, was born. A fourth daughter, Christine Winchester (Bob), Union, gifted their lives later in life, that story follows.

Further education took them to Waterloo, Iowa, where Alice again supported her husband's educational pursuit. Accepting a Department of the Army appointment in 1966, the family moved to rural Wentzville, near St. Louis, where Alice often acted as a single parent during Rod's extended TDY assignments abroad to include Vietnam during the de-escalation period. It was during their 12-year residency near Wentzville that the family came to know and embrace Christine as another family member, the fourth daughter. Alice resumed her laboratory research talents and participated in, amongst other research, developing a polymer paper coating derived from soybean resin, part of Project 900 sponsored by Ralston Purina. She was determined to return to school to advance her career options and received her undergraduate degree in secondary education in 1974 from Fontbonne College. In the early 1980s, the couple relocated to the East Coast where Rod, in a reverse role, supported Alice's career ambitions. She entered an intern program with the Department of the Army and received her graduate degree from Oberlin University in Ohio, via long distance commute, promoting to safety specialist, Army OSHA.

The couple accepted assignment abroad with the Department of the Army and relocated to Zweibrucken, Germany. The couple had many years of adventure in Europe. Upon return to St. Louis in 1987, the couple owned and operated Park Avenue Bed and Breakfast for seven years. They sold their business and properties and determined to try their interest in property development in Kirksville, where they lived until their return to Union in 2015 to be nearer family.

In the 40+/- years of Alice and Rod's life journey between Wentzville, St. Louis, New Jersey, Europe, back to St. Louis, Kirksville and finally Union, the relationship with their fourth daughter, Christine, had yet to be legally solemnized as an official adoption. All members determined to make it official, and in March 2014, Alice and Rod became the oldest adoptive couple in Missouri at the age of 83 years young. Twenty-one and growing additional family members, officially brought into the family with this adoption, enriched and broadened the family circle. The adoption was the delight of Alice's life.

Alice often credited as being the brains behind the adventures, was a most brilliant and talented woman, ahead of the times for many decades. She was an exceptionally gifted individual who had to surmount many obstacles throughout her life. There was very little she could not undertake or accomplish. She was brave and resourceful,?a family credo she taught her daughters. She always did the best she could with the assets she had, through times of plenty and times of want, her provision was stellar. She rose from a two-room stone cottage without amenities in Anamosa, Iowa, to climbing the first tier of the Matterhorn, in Switzerland. The most important attribute Alice passes on is that of her faith in God. Her final prayer states her sentiment about her passionate love of this family, "Thank you, God, for making me a tiny part of something so good."

The Missouri funeral will be held Wednesday, June 6, at 10 a.m. at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Union, with burial committal Thursday, June 7, at 9 a.m. at Wayne Zion Lutheran Church, Monticello, Iowa.

In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to Children's Advocacy (CASA), 301 East State St., Union, MO 63084.
Published in The Missourian on June 6, 2018
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