Rev. Louis C. Riesch

The Rev. Louis C. Riesch, 81 of West Bend died Monday, Jan. 8, 2007 at the Congregational Home in Brookfield.

He was born Aug. 15, 1925 in a maternity home in West Bend to the late Louis J. and Amelia (Dexheimer) Riesch of Slinger.

He resided in Slinger during his youth and graduated from Mission House College in Plymouth. He then became a student of divinity at Eden Semi-nary, St. Louis, Mo.

The following year he returned to Mission House seminary to complete theological education.

After his graduation from the seminary, Rev. Riesch became pastor of the First Reformed Church in Watertown.

Soon thereafter, the South East Wisconsin Church Association challenged him to help establish a home for the aged in the association. At that time he also answer-ed a call from St. Johnís Evangel-ical and Reformed Church in Kohlsville, where he served as pastor for many years.

During his pastorate, Rev. Rieschís close friend, William Koehl of Big Cedar Lake, requested that Rev. Riesch offer the Koehl farm bordering Big Cedar Lake to the South East Wisconsin Church Association whereupon they could establish a home for the aged plus an educational retreat center.

The Koehl family was the first pioneers to the lovely land.

As Rev. Riesch explained many times over, it took thousands of dedicated Christians from a myriad of denominations and faithful staff members to organize and build the Koehl gift into the Cedar Lake Home Campus with its health care center, retreat-education center plus four independent living villages for the elderly.

And, later on, the Cedar Ridge Retirement residential complex in the city of West Bend, plus through superb professionalism of physical therapists, the excellent therapeutic rehab centers throughout the greater community including the city of Horicon and surrounding communities of Dodge County.

Through his community interest, Riesch donated eight acres of land for the town of West Bendís town hall site and ample acreage to the Kohlsville Volunteer Fire Department to build and expand its facilities in the town of Wayne.

He also donated the former Herman Dunst 100-acre farm to the Benevolent Corporation for the establishment of a retreat-art nature center in the town of Wayne.

Rev. Riesch was an avid horseman all of his life and spent many years teaching horsemanship every Monday and Thursday evening as a community service.

Likewise he had a great love for the arts and nature and was responsible for the establishing of a drive-through sculpture garden in the town of Wayne, plus acres of formal and natural forested carriage-art trails.

In 1997 he had constructed two nondenominational chapels for the community to use. One was a replica of the small log chapel St. Johnís church members had erected in 1860, and the other, a futuristic chapel at the west end of a moraine eskerever open to the public for meditation and prayer.

Rieschís love for trees, wild flowers and Wisconsin prairies now is witnessed by the forest, wild flowers and prairie areas he planted and which are available to the public under the supervision of the charitable nonprofit Faith Haven Benevolent Corporation.

His love for Washington County and people from all walks of life is evident in and through his 45 years of service as executive-administrator of the Benevo-lent Corporationís health care and retreat services to men, women and children from all over the world.

Rieschís musical talent was shared with hundreds of people through his original music and many staged presentations with the casts numbering up to 500 persons, including children and the elderly.

Rev. Riesch will be long remembered for his loyalty, as a friend, and his deep and abiding love for quietly glorifying the Lord, God as a simple servant to all of humanity and the animal kingdom.

He is survived by his sister, Anna Lou Owen of Boulder, Colo., his brother, Dr. John Riesch of Germantown, plus a host of friends.

In following Rev. Rieschís wishes, there will be no funeral services. Private burial will take place.

The Schmidt Funeral Home of West Bend is serving the family.