George Edmund “Moo” Riel, Jr., 90, of 76 Montague Street, passed peacefully on January 12, 2023 at the Charlene Manor Extended Care Facility, 130 Colrain Road, Greenfield, MA, following a period of declining health.
A native of Montague, MA he was born on February 19,1932 to Edith (Williams) and George Edmund Riel, Sr., the eldest of three sons.
“Moo” attended the former St. Anne’s Parochial School and Turners Falls High School where he was a outstanding four letter athlete for the “Indians” and President of the Class of 1950. Upon his graduation from high school, he worked for his Uncle Joe Riel at Riel Plumbing and Heating in Turners Falls, prior to enlisting in the US Navy in February of 1951. Following Naval Basic Training, he was assigned to the USS Bristol-DD857 and served honorably during the Korean Conflict. He attained the rate of Radarman 2nd Class. He married his wife the former Alberta Gloria Provost on August 7,1954 in Claremont, NH. She awaited his return from active duty and he was discharged in March of 1955. They were blessed with three loving daughters - Suzanne, Joan and Amy and celebrated 67 years of marriage prior to her passing on December 17, 2021.
In the early years of their marriage, Moo & Bert resided in Boston, MA where George attended Wentworth Institute. They moved back to Turners Falls where he was employed for many years as a certified Master Plumber-Steamfitter. Later, he accepted a position with the USPS as the custodian in the Turners Falls / Millers Falls Post Offices retiring in 1995.
In his youth he was a communicant of the former St. Anne’s Church and later of Our Lady of Peace Church in Turners Falls. George was active in parish life, as he served a Past President of the Parish Council, Finance Committee and as the Chairman of the Parish Anniversary Committee. An avid baseball fan, he was one of the founders of the Newt Guilbault Little League where he was an officer and coach for many years.
An avid outdoorsman, he enjoyed hunting and fishing. George also enjoyed playing pitch and cribbage and in his later years he passed time by doing word search, coloring and watching television. Family was central to Moo & Bert and they hosted annual holiday barbecues and gatherings for all occasions. He was a past-member of the Turners Falls Fire Department, having served as a call fire fighter for many years.
He leaves his three loving daughters – Suzanne Davis (John), Joan Ellis (Ralph) and Amy Connelly. Additionally, he leaves his grandchildren: Patrick Davis (Julie), Katherine Davis-Wheeler (Angela), Lauren (Matt), Geoffrey Ellis (Bailey), Maureen Grout (David) and Emma Connelly, as well as his 7 great grandchildren: Siobhan and Cathal Davis, Avery, Cossette & Lily Grout, Beau & Theo Ellis, to remember him with much affection. He is remembered by his brothers – Frederick “Bud” Riel (Nancy) of Aiken, SC and Douglas “Doug” Riel (Kate) of Moline, IL, as well as several nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews and cousins. He was predeceased by his parents, Edith and George, Sr., his wife Alberta, grand-daughter Sonja Ellis and son-in-law Sean Connelly. A special thanks goes to the staff of Food City, as you made our Dad's daily visit brighter by your kindness.
Funeral services will be observed on January 19, 2023 with a Liturgy of Christian Burial to be observed from Our Lady of Peace Church, 90 Seventh Street, Turners Falls, MA at 11:00AM, with Rev. Fr. Stanley J. Aksamit, Pastor, as the Celebrant. Rites of committal and interment will follow in St. Anne’s Cemetery, with military honors to be conducted by the USN, assisted by the Northfield VFW Post #9875.
In lieu of flowers, expressions of affection are recommended in George's memory to Our Lady of Peace Church, in c/o the Social Justice Commission in support of the parish's “Community Meals” program, 90 Seventh Street, Turners Falls, MA 01376. The McCarthy Funeral Homes of Greenfield and Turners Falls, MA, have been entrusted with the arrangements. Please visit Moo’s Tribute Wall, which may be found at www.mccarthyfuneralhomes.com to leave personal remembrances or plant a tree in his memory.
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