Cover photo for Donald Ralph Riegel's Obituary
Donald Ralph Riegel Profile Photo
1930 Don 2023

Donald Ralph Riegel

February 1, 1930 — April 1, 2023


Donald “Don” Riegel, 93, formerly of Wilmington, NC, passed away peacefully on April 1, 2023, in Huntersville, NC, surrounded by his family.

Donald, the oldest of three boys, was born on February 1, 1930, to Dr. Donald Riegel and Marguerite Riegel (née Soars) in Philadelphia, PA. Donald graduated from John Bartram High School in January 1948 and went on to earn a Bachelor of Science Degree in Commerce and Finance from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA, in June 1953.  He was a proud member of the Kappa Chapter of the Sigma Chi Fraternity. Donald started his lifelong career with E.I. duPont de Nemours as a Corporate Accountant, moving with his family from Wilmington, DE, to Independence, KS, followed by Danville, IL, Victoria, TX, and Wilmington, NC, where he took early retirement in 1989.  Donald worked well into his 70s as a tax preparer for H & R Block in Wilmington, NC before officially retiring to travel and spend time with family.

Donald met the love of his life, Roberta Irene Fredrick, through one of his National Railway Historical Society (NRHS) buddies, Roberta’s brother Rodger. Donald and Roberta were married on June 17, 1961 at Arch Street Methodist Church in Philadelphia. The couple had three children—Thomas Riegel of N. Wilkesboro, NC, Karen Riegel Anzola of Huntersville, NC, and Nancy Riegel of Raleigh, NC.

Donald was best known for his love of trains, trolleys, and model railroading. He delighted in running his 1930s era model trains for his family and friends, and spent hours restoring cars and adding to his vast collection.  He also enjoyed traveling with family visiting nearly all fifty of the contiguous United States, as well as Europe including Scandinavia, Central and South America and Canada.  Don had a servant heart volunteering as a student mentor for Junior Achievement, a church youth group counselor, community food bank driver and railroad museum docent. He also sang in several church choirs and community choral groups. Donald served in the United States Army from 1954-1955.

Donald is survived by his wife, Roberta, children Tom (Brenda), Karen (Carlos) and Nancy; grandchildren Diana Anzola, Carolina Anzola, Sarah Riegel Fairfax (Jacob), and Michael Roberts; many nieces and nephews and grand pups. Donald is preceded in death by his parents and his brothers, Dr. Charles “Bud” Riegel and Robert Riegel.

A Celebration of Life for Donald Riegel will be held on Friday, April 21, 2023, at 11:00 AM at the Chapel of Davidson United Methodist Church in Davidson, NC. Private internment will be held at a later date. 

Memorial donations may be made in Donald’s name to the American Heart Association and the National Railway Historical Society (NRHS Philadelphia Chapter).

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Donald Ralph Riegel, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Friday, April 21, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

Davidson United Methodist Church

233 S Main St, Davidson, NC 28036

Old Chapel

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