Cover photo for Garl Kalman Rieke's Obituary
1942 Garl 2022

Garl Kalman Rieke

June 30, 1942 — July 21, 2022

St. Paul

Garl Kalman Rieke, Ph.D., died peacefully at home surrounded by his family on July 21, 2022. Born in
Seattle, WA June 30, 1942, he was diagnosed with Diabetes Mellitus at age 3 ½ and managed his disease
for 76 years. It helped define him and shaped his dedication to science, medicine, and working hard to
solve problems. A graduate of the University of Washington, Seattle, Garl went on to obtain a Ph.D. in
Anatomy and Cell Biology at Louisiana State University Medical Center, New Orleans, in 1971. After
completing a post-doctoral study at the UCLA Brain Research Institute in 1973, he began his career
teaching neuroscience to medical students.

Garl was passionate about his profession and taught nearly 3,000 students over 35 years of teaching and
doing research at the following schools: Hahnemann Medical College, Philadelphia (1973-1978); Texas A
& M University School of Medicine, College Station, TX (1978-1984) ; Meharry Medical College,
Nashville, TN (1984-1990); and concluded his career at the University of North Dakota School of
Medicine, Grand Forks, ND (1991-2008).

After retirement in 2008 he and his wife Judy (married September 3, 1966) moved to St. Paul, MN, and
also maintained a family country home in Stockholm, SD. His interests and hobbies were wide ranging.
He enjoyed building and flying model airplanes, working in his woodshop, bird watching, reading,
traveling, and especially fishing which he did with intensity. He was curious and loved being outdoors
observing the natural world all around him while hoping to land the big one. He was successful many
places including Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, and Rush Lake, Minnesota, on his son Eric’s dock.

It was important to him to give back through service especially to his church, Unity Church - Unitarian,
St. Paul. Garl helped with the welcome team, worked in the bookstall, tutored at Obama School across
the street, and most of all he loved to travel back to his beloved New Orleans with other church
members to repair homes damaged by Hurricane Katrina. Garl was also serving on the Board of
Directors of the Gallery Towers Condominium Association where he and Judy lived in St. Paul.

His family was precious to him, and he leaves his wife of nearly 56 years, Judith (Judy), sons Stuart
(Monique), Anchorage, AK, and Eric (Kathleen) Clear Lake, MN; brother, Ross (Kit) Rockledge, FL and
sister-in-law Roberta Rabine, Sioux Falls, SD. to mourn. He will also be greatly missed by his younger
grandchildren, Hunter and Wesson (Stuart) and Alexis and Izabel (Eric) with whom he enjoyed many
highly competitive games of UNO and Sorry. In addition he leaves older grandchildren Megan Sennie,
Minneapolis; Paul Sennie, Jr (Rachel) and children, Anchorage, AK; and Adam Smith (Brittany) and
children, Dallas, TX. He was preceeded in death by his parents, Harry and Elizabeth Rieke and his in-laws,
Gwen and Fred Dorman.

A memorial service celebrating Garl’s life will be held October 8, 2022, at 1 pm at Unity Unitarian Church –
entering at 733 Portland Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55104.

The family requests that any memorials please be sent in his memory to the
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation or the American Diabetes Association.
The family also wishes to thank and acknowledge Our Lady of Peace Hospice for
their extraordinary assistance and compassionate care during the final phase of Garl’s journey.

The Doorstep

By Stuart Rieke

You let us sit with you on the Doorstep.

We watched street-kids play stickball with no score kept.

Your grandkids jumped chalk-art playing hopscotch.

Hummingbirds and sparrows want us to keep watch.

The brown Toyota you drove parked by the sidewalk:

We held the golden key to your old bike lock.

The whole fish-market you hooked on the side-street.

Salmon are good, but lake trout: you can’t beat.

In different cities as we sit all day.

New Orleans, Nashville, Philadelphia, L.A.

A blizzard kicks up in Grand Forks, ND.

Air conditioning in Texas gets a little spendy.

And now the Doorstep is at the old farm.

September fishing, damn mosquitos swarm.

Winking fireflies in the dusk blue.

San Diego orangutangs at the big zoo.

A farting contest with our Grandpa Fred.

Sitting on buckets with Co-op caps on your heads.

The Doorstep, I noticed, is a little like birth.

We get to wonder at long life’s worth.

The Doorstep helps us gather and wait.

Is life random, with God, or with blind fate?

Body-functions ebb and flow like a sea-tide.

The Doorstep earthquakes are a rough ride.

We’re proud to be around you at the Doorway.

Don’t worry, we will never ever go away.

And when you’re ready just put on your walking boots.

Don’t trip on the forest you planted with deep strong roots.

Soon, no pain will follow you inside the door.

And you’ll fish with Grandpa out by South Shore.

We might not wait here too much longer.

Beyond the Doorstep we’ll all feel stronger.

You entered the world in Seattle.

A diabetic-warrior-father you lived a battle.

You’ll just rest, no need for heaven’s elevator.

The Doorstep's back to the Creator.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Garl Kalman Rieke, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, October 8, 2022

Starts at 1:00 pm (Central time)

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