LCDR Leonard William Riedel

November 20, 1932 - February 24, 2023

Memorial Gifts & Donations

LCDR Leonard William Riedel departed this life on February 24, 2023.  He was 90 years old.  Bill was born on November 20, 1932 in Cincinnati, Ohio to Leonard Joseph and Helen Schreiber Riedel, now both deceased.  He was the older of two children having been predeceased by his sister Jane.

Bill enlisted in the United States Navy in 1951 and met his wife of 70 years, Janet Saleeby, in New Orleans and they were married in 1953.  The marriage was a fruitful one and six children; Leonard Jr, Karl, Katy, David, Donald and Jim were born to the Catholic family.  Donald passed in 2012.

Bill’s Navy career lasted until his retirement in 1975 and included assignments to Louisiana, Texas, Virginia and Mississippi.  He served on a wide variety of ships such as the USS Waldo County, USS Fremont, USS Norfolk and the USS Forrestal.  Lieutenant Commander Riedel served for 11 years as an enlisted man and was commissioned as a Limited Duty Officer in 1962.  His sea duty assignments had him serving in Engineering and Damage Control billets.  Bill’s most significant achievement was earning the “Red E” for efficiency as Chief Engineering Officer on the USS Arcturus and USS Concord  This coveted engineering award was a tribute to his leadership and competence.  Bill ended his career at the Fleet Training Command in Norfolk.  During his career he was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Armed forces Expeditionary Medal, and the Navy Achievement Medal.

Following his retirement, Bill instructed future naval recruits as Naval Junior ROTC Instructor at Cox High School in Virginia Beach.  He later transferred and taught Building Trades at Smithfield High School in Smithfield Virginia.  Bill retired from teaching in 1995.

Bill was a man of many hobbies and interests.  In Mississippi, Bill served as assistant Boy Scoutmaster.  He was handy with shop tools and his children grew up knowing homemade grills, burn barrels, homemade fencing, tree houses and constant home improvement projects.  Bill had a lifelong love of coin collecting from his days as a paperboy in Cincinnati and in retirement built an enviable collection a love he shared with his son Karl.  Bill was a compulsive collector and was a fan of John Wayne and all his movies and anything else that might be collected.  For 13 years, he worked with his son, Len in the Blue and Gray Education Society, he helped Dave build his country home and contributed to improvement projects with all his children.  Dad’s outspokenness in lengthy front porch chats helped Katy become the conscience for her brothers and the catalyst for many family projects. For many years he helped Donald with his paper route.  His passion for self-help projects inspired Jim to become the “jack-of-all-trades” for the family—if a project needed doing Jim got it done.

Bill is survived by his wife Janet, his sons Len (Pam), Karl (Theresa) David (Marie) and Jim (Bridget, deceased, and Michelle) and his daughter Katy (Howard). He has 12 surviving grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren.  A true softy behind a gruff exterior, he is missed by his adoring owner, his cat “Lady Bug”.  Bill was a member of Holy Trinity Parish in Norfolk, Virginia.

Bill Riedel will be buried following a funeral mass at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Forest Lawn Cemetery on March 30th.  The family requests that individuals wishing to pay tribute to Bill make a contribution, in lieu of flowers, in his name to your favorite charity.

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Jimmie Petty
1 year ago

My deepest condolences on your loss.

Robert Murphy
1 year ago

A full life lived and served. May God Rest His Soul.

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