In his hometown, Nicholas E. Riehl was remembered as a quiet leader: a quarterback on the high school football team, a steady force on the basketball squad, and a talented but shy singer and guitar player.
“Nic was the type of leader where I, as a coach, could have sat on the bench and done crossword puzzles,” said basketball and golf coach Chad Schmidt. “He was an unbelievable human being.”
Riehl, 21, of Shiocton, Wis., was killed by a roadside bomb April 27 in Fallujah. He was a 2004 high school graduate and was assigned to Fort Stewart.
He attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for a short time, but soon followed his younger cousin and two other friends into the Army, in part to pull together the money for his college education.
A guitar player and songwriter, Riehl and a few fellow soldiers formed a band called For This I Die and posted songs on a MySpace.com page.
“I”ve been around music for 30 years, and you only see kids like this once in a while that are this talented,” said Riehl”s uncle and godfather, Robin Riehl.
He also is survived by his parents, Rick and Patty.
Nic’s remains will be arriving in Wisconsin Thursday evening (May 3). At approximately 7:30p.m., the funeral coach will be processing north through Shiocton on State Rd 76. Those wishing to honor Nic and support the family are encouraged to gather along the procession route.
Age 21, died on April 27, 2007, while serving his country in the US Army near Fallujah, Iraq. Nic was born on December 2, 1985 in Appleton son of Rick and Patti (Bunnell) Riehl. He graduated from Shiocton High School in 2004. Nic then joined the Army in November of 2005. He served his boot camp at Fort Knox and then served at Fort Stewart in Georgia. Nic was deployed to Iraq in January of 2007. He enjoyed being with his friends and playing basketball. To all who knew Nic, thank you for being a part of his life!
He is survived by his parents Rick and Patti, a brother Evan Riehl, Shiocton; a sister Roselynn Riehl, Shiocton; paternal grandparents Duane (Sandy) Riehl, Shiocton; maternal grandparents Lloyd and Theresa Bunnell, Shiocton. Uncles and aunts: Robin (Shelley) Riehl, Hortonville; Rance (Tracy) Riehl, Shiocton; Radley (Jenny) Riehl, Shiocton; Ranae (Fred) Sommers, Appleton; Sue (Bill) Buckmann, Milwaukee; Lloyd (Paula) Bunnell, Hortonville and Nancy (Ron)Beyer, Shiocton.
He is preceded in death by an aunt and uncle Donna and Jim Manuel.
Nic was an honest, loyal, caring, and very gifted person. He is a son who would have made any parent proud. Thanks for the music and memories you brought to our lives.
We’ll Miss You Nic, Love Mom & Dad
My brother; Nic.
My best friend, hero and role model. Stern, grounded, a true man. Loving. A soldier. Sharing, caring and bullheaded.
When I think of my big brother Nic, many things come to mind. But coward was not one. So when he joined the army there wasn’t going to be a way to stop him. His life was a long, long, road, with many turns, some for good some for bad, but those little bumps in the road made Nic who he was. If he wanted something he would have to work for it, and he did with such pride. It was truly amazing, also he would do it all with a smile, but not just any smile, he has one of those smiles you can see with your eyes closed. I know I was truly blessed to have him in my life, better yet as a brother. He was there to always lend me his words of wisdom, a helping hand, or to bring my ego back to the ground, and simply prove to me once again that he was the best. There were many things he attempted to teach me like guitar, how to be a “Riehl” leader on the basketball court, and never give up and also, to stay true to yourself. I understand that the Lord needed him, not only did He take my big brother He took my best friend. Nic, I’ll see you on the Court!
Nic. A grandson we are so proud of. A grandson who had so many talents; including playing the guitar, singing, writing songs, and sports. A grandson who was honest, had the Lord Jesus in his life, thought of others first, and was a very caring person. Before you went on to college to pursue your future, you chose to serve your country. Again, we can never mention enough how proud of you we are. If we could we would go right up to heaven and bring you back home again – Someday we will be together again.
Love Ya, Grandpa & Grandma Riehl.
The Lord knew we needed one of His best grandsons and He sent us Nic.
We love you always, Gramma & Grampa Bunnell
Nic, we love you and will miss you very much! Thank you for what you have done for our country. We will see you again someday.
Uncle Rad, Aunt Jenny, Jordan and Jarett.
Nic was a nephew that always seemed to have a way to brighten the day and put a smile on your face. You will be in our hearts forever Nic.
Love Uncle Ranee & Aunt Traci
Nic, you have always been a nephew that makes it very easy for an aunt and uncle to be proud of; from all of the sports that you had excelled in and the ease of always achieving great grades in school to becoming a soldier protecting our country. We will always miss you but will somehow find strength knowing that you have gone to a far better place in heaven.
We’ll love you and miss you forever, Aunt Nancy and uncle Ronny
One of my dearest nephews is gone but not forgotten. To have been able to show you the love of music and have the desire and feelings that it brings truly makes you one of the elite members of God’s orchestra. You now have your wings, which I can only wait for. The love you showed for family and friends gave you the heart the Lord looks for. Now you can be my guardian angel till we meet again.
Love, Robin, Shelley, Natasha, Morgan, Seth and Brooklyn
Nic, you’re our hero. Your sacrifice saved the lives of several fellow soldiers. Good bye for now.
Nic. My cousin and friend through life. Nic was a close cousin to me who I always trusted and felt listened to me when I had something to say. Ever since I can remember Nic has been a part of my life and will always be loved and greatly missed by me. I remember all the times we played guitar together, and all of the downhill sledding when we were kids behind his parent’s house. I’ll also never forget the road trip that Nic, Brian Rousseau, and I took to go see my big brother Trenton when he graduated from basic training in Fort Knox Kentucky. Nic gave me a great outlook on life and was a major influence on me. I will idolize him for being the awesome person he was.
Nic, Thank you for all the good times we had together. Those memories will last a lifetime. Growing up with you was quite an experience! All the laughing, fighting, and crying we did made us the close cousins that we were. I am so proud to say you are my big little cousin! I love you and I am so proud of everything you have done. I know I will see you again someday! Until then, watch over us and keep us safe.
I love you! Amanda
During the short time I knew him, the first day we met, I knew he was a role model, leader, and a loving brother. Stories from Evan and Roselynn made him seem like he was the greatest and most loyal man you’d ever meet, and he was. I was looking forward to him coming back, because I only got to hang out with him for what seemed like 3 days. That was not enough time, but just enough to get to know him a little better. I can say I’ve met the greatest man alive now. His voice, songs and memories will stay with me forever. Thank you Nic for being a hero and dedicated soldier to our country.
Funeral services for Nic will be held on Saturday, May 5, 2007 at 2:00p.m. at the Shiocton High School Gymnasium with Rev. Michael Isbill officiating. Interment will be in Bovina Cemetery in Shiocton, where full military graveside rites will be held. Visitation will be on Saturday, May 5, 2007 at the Shiocton High School Gymnasium from 10:00a.m. until 1:45p.m.
A memorial fund has been established.
Nic was one of 54 members of the 2004 Shiocton Wisconsin High School graduating class. He was the basketball team’s most valuable player in his senior year, quarterback on the high school football team, excelled in math, had a mature insight into Biblical scriptures, played the guitar and was a talented, shy, singer.
He joined the Army in November 2005, arrived at Fort Stewart, Georgia, in April 2006 and was deployed to Iraq in January 2007, serving as a cavalry scout. He was assigned to the 5th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division. While he was stationed in Iraq, Nic formed a band with some other soldiers which they named “For This I Die” and they posted their songs on the internet.
He is survived by his parents Rick Emerson and Patti Lynn (Bunnell) Riehl; a brother Evan Riehl, Shiocton; a sister Roselynn Riehl, Shiocton; paternal grandparents Duane (Sandy) Riehl, Shiocton; maternal grandparents Lloyd and Theresa Bunnell, Shiocton. Uncles and aunts: Robin (Shelley) Riehl, Hortonville; Rance (Tracy) Riehl, Shiocton; Radley (Jenny) Riehl, Shiocton; Ranae (Fred) Sommers, Appleton; Sue (Bill) Buckmann, Milwaukee; Lloyd (Paula) Bunnell, Hortonville and Nancy (Ron)Beyer, Shiocton.
He is preceded in death by an aunt and uncle Donna and Jim Manuel. Nic said he “patrolled the streets of Fallujah Iraq hoping to create some peace and order in the town, so they could eventually know the freedoms that our veterans before have provided for us.”