Meri Elinor Turner Rieseck, 94, formerly of Pittsburgh , and recently of Cabot, PA, passed away on Sunday February 7, 2021. During her last week at Concordia Lutheran Ministries, she was fortunate to be out of pain, surrounded and comforted by her four daughters.
Born June 30, 1926, she was the daughter of William H. Turner and Alice Strasser Turner. The first person from her family to graduate high school, she continued education at Duff's Business School. Meri started her career working at WPIT radio in Pittsburgh, then on to Arthur Murray Dance Studio and Gulf Oil, where she met her husband Will Rieseck, married for 67 years. Learning from these experiences and her father's part of the Salvation, Meri was a dedicated volunteer for the "war effort", important lessons she passed along.
Living through the Great Depression and rationing required of WWII, instilled frugal recycling habits long before concern for ecology was commonly recognized. No one would gusess from her kindly disposition, Mer had to shoulder adult responsibilities at age 12, when her mother was paralyzed by MS. Likely the root of her can-do attitude and her trust in God, both passions she passed along to so many. She created many clever ways to make all things better than ordinary. About 1953, Meri began to put these good habits to use as a new mother, wife and homemaker for a family that grew to 8, five children, husband and mother-in-law.
She and Will took the family picnicking, boating, ice skating and sledding, teaching them to have fun. Meri taught four daughters and a son to sew and "add a ruffle." Even in her eighties, Meri kept very active with her own love for adventure. At age 80, Meri was regularly square dancing and biking, she went river rafting down the Kennebec River in Maine and was kayaking in the Atlantic Ocean at 85 and 90. She baked a stellar apple pie, exceptional enough to win the baking competition at the Farm Show and warm her family's hearts on numerous occasions.
Telling others about the Love of God was important to Meri. She frequently taught and participated in Bible studies, neighborhood Bible Schools and Christian Women's Club. She often prepared a meal or dessert for a family in need or the new family down the block. Meri lived the faith that she loved. She wrote encouraging notes to everyone, always a pleasure to read and careful in trusting God.
Attending church and singing in the choir with many congregations, Meri felt privileged to sing with the Billy Graham Crusade in Pittsburgh. Recently a member of St Luke Lutheran Church in Cabot, she enjoyed singing the familiary hymns each Sunday. Gardening and giraffes rounded out Meri's personal hobbies. She became a Master Gardener in the Butler Garden Club and collected an impressive array of giraffes in pictures and sculpture.
Meri is dearly loved and will be missed by her five children and spouses: Marla K. McQuiston (Tim McQuiston), David W. Rieseck (Drew Myron), Sandi J. White (Scott White), Carol L. Briggs (Don Briggs) and Joanne L. Shelly (Michael Shelly). She has seven grandchildren: Mallory (Josh Levi), Hunter, Lexi, Conor, Kelvin, Justin and Gavin: and one great grandson, Virgil June Levi.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband of 67 years, Wilbert L. Rieseck.
An in-person (with masks and social distancing) and on-line memorial service for Meri will be held at St. Luke Lutheran Church 330 Hannahstown Road, Cabot, PA this Sunday, February 21, 2021 at 3:00 pm.
The online site can be found at youtube.com, St. Luke Lutheran Church Cabot, PA. Look for the clickable link to : Meri Rieseck Memorial Service 3:00 pm Eastern Standard Time.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to https://childrensdyslexiacenters.org/tutoring location/pennsylvania-pittsburgh/
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