October 12, 1938 – July 21, 2020
A Life Well Lived
Bernie Riehl was born in Trail, BC, on October 12, 1938 to German immigrants, Bernhard and Lia Riehl. Their family moved to Lister in 1940 and the following year they bought the present Riehl farm. They brought with them an electric washing machine but since Lister had no power, they traded it for their first milk cow. Bernie and his sister Anita worked hard, haying and milking on the dairy farm. After graduating Prince Charles High School, Bernie studied electronics at SAIT in Calgary. He then moved to Toronto where he worked for General Electric.
In 1962 he returned to Lister to work with his parents, eventually taking over the farm. He married Karen Samuelson on April 27, 1963 and they had five children together.
Bernie inherited and passed on to his children and grandchildren a deep Christian faith, including a commitment to scripture, prayer, and church attendance. He often picked up extra kids on the way to Sunday School and freely shared his faith. He gave joyfully to those in need, including helping building a boys dorm while Karen looked after children at a Guatemalan orphanage.
Bernie loved spending time with his ever- growing multigenerational family at weekly Sunday dinners. He encouraged his kids to memorize poems and taught three generations to play chess.
Bernie loved people and was curious about their lives and interests. He had the unique ability to strike up conversations with complete strangers and within minutes discover obscure, interesting things about their lives. He had a diverse group of old and new friends of various ages, backgrounds and interests. He and Karen were blessed to have grown old with high school friends, with whom they socialized regularly.
Bernie was involved in, and generous towards many local clubs and organizations—from competitive square dancing (in his younger years) to quadding (in his older years). He actively promoted the Creston Farmer’s Market and felt a responsibility to support the local economy, since as he would say, “every dollar spent locally turns over seven times.”
Bernie was keenly interested in natural health and would enthusiastically share his naturopathic remedies and concoctions— such as Willard’s Water, niacin, herbs, and kombucha—with whomever he thought needed them. Physically active, he rode a bicycle around his farm, hiked, and in his younger years he regularly stood on his head, waterskied and even parasailed on one of his many exotic vacations. Bernie loved adventure and was open to new experiences as he was a kid at heart. He camped, snowmobiled, boated, and quadded in the Kootenays and travelled to many interesting countries and places, with both friends and family.
Bernie lived life to the fullest and we miss him with all our hearts.
He is predeceased by his parents Bernhard and Lia Riehl, Uncle Henry Bollinger, son Terance; and by brothers and sisters in law, Bill (Anita) Huscroft, Joan and Lonnie Stuart, Carol (Bob) Samuelson, Raeburn Hendrickson.
He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Karen and their children, Doug (Laurie), Marla (Darin Brooks), Linda (Gary) Cote, Chris (Sangeun), and son-in-law Lyle Peters. He will also be missed by his grandchildren, Nadine (Dean) Bala, Amy (Ryan) Cranston, Nicole (Jeremiah) Warrington, Leigh Riehl, Ruqaya Peters, Samuel Riehl, Dakota and Tyson Brooks, Meredith and Christian Cote, Elias Riehl, and eight great- grandchildren. He will also be remembered by his sister Anita Huscroft, sister-in-law Pat (Ed) Cotton, brother-in-law Bob Samuelson, sister- in-law Diane Hendrickson (Bill Reid) and many nieces and nephews.
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