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Merkley-Mitchell Mortuary

3655 5Th Ave, San Diego, CA

OBITUARIO

Edith Merica Riel

2 enero , 19255 octubre , 2019

Edith Sophie “Lilica” Merica Riel, 94, joined the love of her life, Frank James Riel, in heaven on October 5, 2019 at 8:45pm. Edith Riel lived a full, courageous, and joyful life. The sixth and youngest child of Theodore Merica, 1883-1963 and Evriklia Amaxopoulo,1888-1966 she was called Lilica at home. Because her own siblings were older, she spent much of her childhood playing alone which convinced her that one day she would have a large family of her own. She lived her early life in a multicultural and multilingual context in Iran learning Greek (home language), French (educated language) and some English, Russian, and Farsi. It was love at first sight when Edith, 17, saw Frank Riel, 23, an army officer stationed with the Persian Gulf Command during WWII, at a party. Soon they were very much in love and wanted to get married but needed her father’s consent which was not granted due to issues of age, cultural differences, and a necessary move to America. Sadly, Frank had to return to the US after his tour of duty and was separated from Edith. However, after two years of persistence, a lot of letter writing, and her father’s love in recognizing Edith’s broken heart, Theodore finally agreed to send her to the United States to attend college. Edith followed her heart traveling halfway around the world mostly alone for months and enrolled in the University of Dubuque, Iowa. After three months, and after convincing her father that she was truly happy, Theodore granted permission for them to get married. On December 28, 1946, she became Mrs. Frank James Riel, Jr. The wedding was a large formal party with Edith looking exotic and stunning in her wedding dress. Richard was born nine months and one day after her wedding and Edward appeared a year later, with Margaret, Francie, Carol, Robert and the twins, Elizabeth and Roberta completing the family of eight in a span of only eleven years. While her 8 kids were young, she worked hard all week with laundry, shopping, cleaning, and driving them around. But Sundays were for church and family. Edith was a devout Catholic and her family would fill an entire pew at St. Vincent de Paul church. Sunday lunch was also a big meal after which, the family would most likely enjoy an outing to either the San Diego Zoo, Presidio Park, or, when the weather was good, to La Jolla Shores. Edith was athletic, taking long works with her children and playing tennis every Saturday with Frank. Then in the late sixties, Edith learned how to play golf joining Frank every weekend at the Stardust Country Club in Fashion Valley. On Tuesdays, she played golf with the women followed by a game of bridge. Bridge and bridge parties were the social glue that connected her and Frank to a wider network of friends. When all of her children were in school, she volunteered at Mercy Hospital as a Candy Striper. And she studied to become an American citizen. She was very proud of her adopted country and loved to sit and watch the flag. She would say that the only flag more attractive than a Greek flag was the American Flag. Her favorite colors were red, white, and blue. Edith lived life fully and with energetic joy. Even after losing Frank and with the problems of living with memory lapses, she remained happy in the moments that she had, and treasured the memories that were strong. All of her children stayed in San Diego and she saw most of them weekly, and all of them, and their families, at the many Riel Family celebrations. She continued to play golf weekly until a few weeks before her death. She was the oldest regular golfer at the Admiral Baker Golf course. She enjoyed the company of friends at two retirement communities Merrill Gardens and more recently at The Montera. Predeceased include her parents Theodore Merica, 1883-1963; mother, Evriklia Amaxopoulo,1888-1966, her husband Frank Riel, Jr. (1918-1913), four brothers, Romulus 1908-1977, Nickolas 1910-1934, Michael 1912-2001, and Byron 1920-1988, her sister Xanthippi (Marie Hélène) 1917-1963 and her daughter Francie Sorem 1952-1917. She is survived by seven of her eight children, Richard Riel, Edward Riel, Margaret Riel, Carol Benesch, Robert Riel, Elizabeth Gillingham, Roberta Hartman, her 22 grandchildren who know her as Yaya (Greek for Grandmother), and 25 great-grandchildren. She loved and is loved by many. That is her legacy. Funeral Mass and Memorial will be held at St. Vincent de Paul Church, on Sunday, November 10 at 4:00 pm.

Servicios

  • Funeral Mass domingo, 10 noviembre , 2019

Recuerdos

Edith Merica Riel

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Cindy Hellmann

7 noviembre , 2019

Mrs. Riel, what an amazing lady. I’ve known her since I was 3 years old (now I’m 66) and never was there a time she didn’t have a smile on her face. She always had laughter in her voice and a funny something to say with her great accent. She loved her family, her life, and her golf clubs. Growing up and spending lots of time at the Riels’ home, she always was welcoming her kids to have their friends over. I remember the entire family sitting in the sunroom, watching t.v. and there she would be sipping her RC cola. Her joyous love for life and the twinkle in her eye will be with me for ever!

Maureen Manzer-Latham

5 noviembre , 2019

Her devotion to Jesus will always be an inspiration. For my whole life, I would see Frank & Edith at Mass on Sunday's, & Holy Days at St. Vincent's. I will always look to their pew and remember. I will remember her voice and laugh. I will remember being in the Riel Kitchen when Edith and Frank would come home from Golf. She chatting, and Frank so very quiet. I loved reading about her full life-things I didn't know. I am glad she is reunited with Frank. Their lasting love was evident to the world. Maureen Manzer Latham

Margaret Riel

31 octubre , 2019

Mom at Thanksgiving... we give thanks for such a wonderful mom!

Margaret Riel

31 octubre , 2019

Five daughters at Christmas....

Margaret Riel

31 octubre , 2019

And three sons at Easter.

Margaret Riel

31 octubre , 2019

A favorite picture of mom and dad, they gave each of us a copy.

Margaret Riel

31 octubre , 2019

This is what the family looked like as we started attending the wedding of the grandchildren.

Margaret Riel

31 octubre , 2019

After the weddings, came the 22 grandchildren with about three born each year. This is our "Riel Bowl" Christmas celebration on Jan 1- Edith's birthday.

Margaret Riel

31 octubre , 2019

Mom and Dad loved to play tennis and then later they switched to golf. At 94, she played golf a week before she was admitted to the hospital which ended in her death.

Margaret Riel

31 octubre , 2019

This was a fun party in which the Mom and the married children and their spouses came in their wedding attire. We had five of the wedding across nine months.

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