Cover photo for Francis Rieber's Obituary
Francis Rieber Profile Photo
1925 Francis 2018

Francis Rieber

November 14, 1925 — May 18, 2018

Francis Albert (Al) Rieber was born November 14th, 1925 in Kent, MN, to Ethel and Joseph Rieber. He attended country school through the 8th grade in Kent and through 10th grade in Breckenridge, MN. Al worked on a farm for Elo Abel where he met the love of his life and wife of 72 years, Donna (Bader) Rieber.

Al was drafted in March of 1944 into the Army.  He attended basic training and was deployed to Europe to fight in WWII, during which he was injured and received a purple heart. He was discharged in April 1946. He returned to Breckenridge and married his loving wife. Al was very proud of his military service and had great respect for all veterans. He was able to attend the First Honor Flight to Washington DC with Donna.

Al and Donna were married for 72 years.  He loved her completely from the day they met. Al and Donna went on to have a family of 14 children, Janice Quam, Linda Guetzkow, Sharon Menge, Larry (Mary Lou) Rieber, Shirley (Rod) Wirth, Karen (Gary) Zimmer, Cheryl (Myron) Mikkelsen, Joe Rieber, Jim (Lisa) Rieber, Teresa Christianson, Dan (Lori) Rieber, Dr. Gerald (Tammy) Rieber, and Jennifer (Tom) Fisher. Their son Thomas Rieber preceded him in death and was waiting for him in Heaven.  They have 27 grandchildren, 39 great-grandchildren and 7 great-great-grandchildren who loved him immensely.  He has enriched the lives of many at their lake home at Crystal Lake, MN and their Arizona home. Al always had the time and patience to teach his kids and grandkids everything from life lessons to how to fix anything. Al was a Boy Scout Leader in Breckenridge and Sabin, and was also was a member of the Sabin Rescue Squad, Sabin Lions Club, America Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Catholic Order of Foresters, and the Knights of Columbus. He enjoyed serving his community.

Al farmed and worked for Great Northern Railroad prior to opening Al's Truck Stop and Café in Breckenridge, MN. They operated that business until 1972, when they moved to Sabin, MN, where he worked for Commercial Truck Plaza and Truckers Inn as a diesel mechanic. He was a teacher and mentor to everyone.

Al retired in 1987 and he and Donna spent the summers at their Crystal Lake home and wintered in Apache Junction, AZ. During the 30 years they were in Apache Junction, they met and enjoyed the company of many great friends, who became their extended family.

Al loved life at the lake.  He especially enjoyed pontoon rides in the evenings and nights by the campfire with family and friends. He spent many days in his woodshop making unique presents that he passed on to his family and friends.

Al passed away on Friday May 18th, at Perham Living surrounded by his loving family and friends. He will be missed and will always be in our hearts, never to be forgotten.

Al is also survived by his sister, Dorothy Birch and brother, Vern (Ann) Voss. He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Delores Miller, Ann Cole, and Agnes Jandro; and his brothers, Art Deal, Lloyd Rieber, and Leroy Rieber; sons-in-law, Cliff Quam and Wes Guetzkow; and his infant son, Thomas.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, May 24, 2018 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm, with a prayer service and rosary at 7:00 pm at St. Mary of the Lakes Catholic Church, rural Detroit Lakes, MN.  Visitation will continue from 10:00 am to 11:00 am, followed by the funeral mass at 11:00 am on Friday, May 25, 2018 at the church.  Burial will be at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery in Breckenridge, MN.  Arrangements are entrusted to Joseph Vertin and Sons Funeral Home, Breckenridge.

In lieu of flowers, donations are preferred to Perham Living or St. Mary of the Lakes Catholic Church.

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, May 24, 2018

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

St. Mary of the Lakes Catholic Church

20996 Co Hwy 20, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Mass

Friday, May 25, 2018

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

St. Mary of the Lakes Catholic Church

20996 Co Hwy 20, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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