Lou E. Riesenberg

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

17 Responses to Lou E. Riesenberg

  1. T. Kelly says:

    I want to offer my sincere condolences to the family. I am so very sorry for your loss. Our Heavenly father, Jehovah God, in His word the Bible, calls death an enemy (1Cor. 15:26). He promises in the very near future to do away with death(Rev. 21:4, 5). At that time tragedies and accidents will be a thing of the past, and no one will ever get sick (Isaiah 33:24), and there will be a reuniting, a bringing back to life instead of losing life (John 5:28,29). I hope these words can give you some comfort and hope (2 Cor. 1:3, 4). Once again I am so sorry for your loss. For more comfort from God’s Word, please visit http://www.jw.org

  2. Joanna (Slaybaugh) Morgan says:

    Just wanted to say I am so sorry for your loss. Keeping you and the family in my prayers.
    Joanna (Slaybaugh) Morgan

  3. Terry & Monica Cornelison says:

    Monica and I are really saddened to hear about Lou’s passing. We will keep you in our thoughts and prayers in this time of sorrow.
    Monica and Terry

  4. Allison Touchstone says:

    Carol and family,

    There are no words to express my condolences. Thank you for sharing Lou with us for all of these years. He means a tremendous amount to me, my family, and countless others.

    Dr. Lou Riesenberg gave me a chance to become who I am today. He taught me how to be a teacher and mentor, when to stand up and when to stand down, how to be an advisor and when to tell students to get it together. He was an inspiration and role model for me for the past 25 years. He was one of my biggest supporters and told me when I needed to get it together. Lou and Carol welcomed my family into their home and one of Garrett’s favorite people has always been Mr. Lou. I am so thankful I had a chance to know him and honored to have called him friend. Lou will be missed by teachers and students and friends and all who knew him, and I will be among those on the top of the list.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Allison Touchstone

  5. Rachel Rheuby says:

    Carol and Family,
    My thoughts and prayers go out to you! I was saddened when I received the news of his passing. Dr. Riesenberg believed in me long before I believed in myself! He was an inspiration to many of us and will be greatly missed!!
    Rachel Rheuby

  6. Linda King and Robert Riesenberg says:

    Bob and I wish to express our sincere condolences for your loss. I am so grateful for the short time I had with the both of you at Frances’ funeral. Bob thinks highly of you both and feels very saddened by this sudden loss. Please try to keep in touch…family is very important to us! Take care and lots of love and thoughts your way!

  7. Cathy Mosman says:

    Carol, Doug, Vicki, Ruby, Riley and Henry,
    I am very sorry for your loss. Lou talked about all of you so much that I feel that I know you all well, even though I have just met you. He was so proud of all of his family. He was a great man in so many ways.
    I arrived at the University of Idaho as a freshman ag ed major the same year that Lou started as an ag mech instructor. I can’t even count the ways he helped me over the years–helping me struggle through ag mech courses (I’m sure I was the worst student he ever had, but he never lost patience!!), believing that a woman could actually teach ag in Idaho and helping me start a program in Glenns Ferry, teaching graduate courses in Twin Falls and Burley so we ag teachers could work towards our masters degree (no online courses then!!), helping me get a job in the college of ag doing student recruitment and then traveling with me to high schools to recruit high school students, and roping me into setting up the state FFA Dairy Foods CDE so I could always stay connected to the great people associated with Ag Ed at the UI.
    He has influenced my life in so many ways. He always had time for a visit and always had great knowledge and insight to pass on to me. He was a man who was way ahead of his time–I have never met anyone who was so good at thinking outside of the box and making things happen. All four of my own kids have benefited from the dual credit program he started. I wish I just had 20% of his technology expertise. Lou had a tremendous influence on my life. He was one of the greatest men I have ever met. My whole family will miss him.
    May God bless all of you and help you with this loss– Cathy Mosman

  8. Ann Catt says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. God bless each of you.
    Ann Catt

  9. Terry Olson says:

    To the Riesenberg Family,
    I offer my condolences. I worked for Lou for two years in the AgEd Department while my now ex husband was finishing his degree in AgEd. Lou was what seemed to be a larger than life kind of guy w/a burly voice that commanded respect. The respect part was true, but he also was a gentle giant who had everyone’s best interest in mind. I learned a lot from Lou and I cherish the time I spent in the department. He will be greatly missed.

  10. R Sweeney says:

    Sorry to hear of Lou ‘s passing. Condolences to all of his family.

  11. Don Saraceno says:

    Riesenberg Family,
    I offer my sincere condolences, and I’m so sorry for your loss. Lou offered so much to others, and was a wonderful man. I too saw him as a gentle giant, who’s growl was much meaner than his bite. He was kind and caring, while at the same time determined to meet specific goals every day. I will forever cherish the years we spent working together, and won’t forget a minute if it. He will be missed tremendously!

  12. Robbi Strother says:

    To the Riesenberg Family:

    I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  13. Doug & Diana Pals says:

    Dear Carol, Doug & Family:

    We are so sorry to hear about your loss. During his long tenure, Lou made a lasting contribution to Agricultural Education in Idaho and across the nation. He has touched the lives of many students and teachers and colleagues. We appreciated how he was attentive to Dwight and Mary Jane Kindschy over the years. Mary Jane often commented on those visits the few times we saw her. Lou will be missed! You are in our thoughts and prayers.

  14. Ken Stafford says:

    My condolences to the family. I remember when Lou came to the UI. He was always the gentle gentleman who truly cared about his students. I enjoyed the years I worked with him very much. He was a very nice person. I’m so sorry to the family for their loss.

  15. Ken Stafford says:

    I remember when Lou came to the UI. He was a kind and gentle man who was very concerned for his students. I always like working with Lou. My condolences and thoughts to the family at the loss of a really nice man and friend.

  16. James Christiansen says:

    Dear Carol,
    I am so sorry to learn of Lou’s death and your loss. As a fellow prof in agricultural education with Lou down through the years (I am at Texas A&M University), Lou and I had many long thought-provoking conversations together at conferences and meetings. I always was pleased with the things that his former students and his colleagues said and thought about him. I am certain that you will have many happy memories to carry forward with you in the years ahead. But I am saddened with his death.
    /James Christiansen/

  17. Cathy Carson says:

    To Doug, your mom, and the rest of your family,
    I am saddened to say I just heard of the death of your father. I send my most sincere sympathies.

    Cathy Carson (MHS Class of 1983)

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