Dr. Lou E. Riesenberg passed away November 9th after a brief illness. He was born to Margaret (Wiskus) and Anton Riesenberg on July 22, 1943, in Carroll, Iowa. Dr. Riesenberg attended Kuemper High School in Carroll, Iowa, then earned his bachelor’s degree in agricultural education at Iowa State University.
Lou taught urban agriculture at a secondary school in Minneapolis while earning his Master’s degree at the University of Minnesota, where he also completed his PhD.
Lou was a long-term faculty member and department head in agricultural education at the University of Idaho. One of Lou’s favorite quotations was “To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” And Lou has influenced a significant number of lives. Many of Idaho’s secondary agricultural education faculty earned their undergraduate and graduate degrees with his guidance.
Some say a teacher’s influence reaches into eternity and if that is true, Lou’s influence will live on through the successes of his many students. He was especially interested in easing students’ transition from high school to college. He was instrumental in establishing a dual credit program in agriculture through which high school students received a head-start in earning college credit through a cooperative effort of high school and university faculty.
Lou and his wife Carol served as ombudsmen or advocates for residents at Aspen Park skilled nursing and rehabilitation center where he made many friends. He was especially fond of entertaining residents by trading stories (real and exaggerated) of growing up in a small rural town. As a second activity, Lou served as assistant to Sister Delores of St. Mary’s Catholic Community in her Thursday morning song and prayer session at Aspen Park.
Lou and Carol celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in June. He is survived by his son Doug and daughter-in-law Vicki and three grandchildren, Ruby, Riley and Henry in Corvallis, Oregon. Lou was proud of his son, also an educator, and appreciated the unique and varied talents of his grandchildren. He is also survived by two brothers and one sister (Walt, Knoxville, Tennessee, John (Diane) Fort Dodge, Iowa, and Lizzie, Spokane). He was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters (Lucille and Leona) and six brothers (Alvin, Joseph, Frank, Wilbert, Lawrence and Norbert.)
Lou was a member of St. Augustine’s Catholic Center, where he appreciated the spiritual support given students in the academic environment. A memorial Mass will be held at a later date. Contributions in Lou’s memory may be made to the Lou E. Riesenberg Student Scholarship Endowment through the University of Idaho Foundation.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Short’s Funeral Chapel of Moscow and condolences may be left at www.shortsfuneralchapel.com