Ernst Riese

Ernst Richard Riese

1925 - 2018

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Obituary of Ernst Richard Riese

Our beloved uncle Ernst Richard Riese passed away peacefully on December 9th, 2018 after a long, hard battle, his last.

"Uncle Ernie" is preceded by "Tita Del" his wife of 40 years, Adelle Espina Riese, his sister Dorothy Riese Foss, and his brother Robert Riese. Uncle Ernie leaves behind niece Barbara Foote, nephew Lawrence Foss, nieces Bonny Foss, Deborah Pierce, Louisa

Gilani, Erna Foss, Roberta Sorenson, Paula Riese and Susan Riese Nutter. He also has many great nieces and nephews,and great great nieces and nephews. 

Ernst Riese was born and raised in San Francisco and it was his Marine regiment from San Francisco that put the flag on the mountain of lwo Jima. It was one of the fiercest battles of WW2 . Ernst came back from the War full of intent to live life to the fullest,. So,whatever he did, he excelled. A room full of trophies to show he caught the biggest fish, and sold the most sales. He started a college veteran association after the war, was ·later President of the Rod and Gun Club of San Francisco, was a faithful member of his Lodge, with the tradition going back generations. I remember his Fez hat and his great San Francisco parade entries. Once he dressed as a big Sultan with dancing girls around him, and showed his costume to me .. He was a lifelong member of the Camel Riding Club, and Santa Claus for the San Francsico Shriners hospital for children. He loved children= and dogs. We remember Labrador “Mlke,” and “Reno” and Chesapeake retriever “Rusty". His last dog (a caregiver really owned but brought him over daily) .. a gray Pitbull puppy with a massive head Ernst named, “Bucky”.  Ernie the “dog whisperer” had “Bucky” trained in just one day. We were awestruck.

Ernst loved being a salesman for Lawson Products. He married a beautiful nurse from the Philippine he called "my best friend". Uncle Ernie was remembered as a duck and geese hunter. To this day, the geese that fly by, with "summer sun on their wing, but winter in their cry" remind us of him. Uncle Ernie was a "card shark", able to memorize everyone's hand and seriously "cleaned out" the ranch hands when he and his teenage brother were forced to do the most menial labor on his uncle's ranch. He was "never without money, 11 he said, because he "started selling Liberty magazines on the streets of San Francisco" when he was "ten years old" .and "loved to work". Ernst had a deep baritone voice that carried without the use of a microphone, and he sang in the bars of San Francisco. and was known by the jazz greats like, Duke Ellington who, when he saw him called him up to sing .. From classical to jazz to old songs like "On the Road to Mandalay" to "Wagon Wheels carry me home", no one could sing like Uncle Ernie. His last song sung was "Du, du liegst mir im Herzen”. (You, you lie in my heart) And his last words were lch Liebe dich. I love you. We love you, too, dear Uncle. We know that in heaven your grandma “Ganduty” was waiting for you with a table setting, just like she did every week when the family gathered on Sundays for all the years you were away during the war. The table set was a symbol not lost when Ernst was old. He insisted on good manners and a well set table, with good presentation. All a reminder of the German era of San Francisco.  

And finally, from the Marine Hymn Ernst sang on the 4th of July this year, we salute our old WW2 uncle with those words:

"When the Army and the Navy meet on heaven's scene, they will find the streets are guarded by a United States Marine."

Rest in Peace, Semper Fi.