July 28, 1924 – July 3, 2019
John Bernhard Riis, 94, died July 3rd, 2019 at his home in North Branford, CT, surrounded by family. John was born in Oslo, Norway on July 28, 1924 where he spent his childhood and young adult life. He survived the German occupation of Norway for five years during WW II. After a business education at Oslo University, he moved to the U.S.A. in 1949.
John was predeceased by his wife of 68 years, Marie-Therese, and is survived by his 4 children, Mette Riis and her partner Jerry Scezney of Golden, CO, Johan Riis of Norwalk, CT, Elise Bohner and husband Mark of Guilford, CT and Siri Kloud and husband Daniel of New Cannan, CT. They had resided in Riverside, CT in the same home since 1962. He is also survived by 6 grandchildren, Jamie, and Nina Bohner, and Alexandra (husband Robert) Hughes of Branford, CT and Joshua, Meghan and Madeline Kloud of New Canaan, CT.
John started Luxo Lamp Corporation for Norwegian owners in 1950, first in the U.S.A., then in Montreal, Canada. Both companies became very successful and profitable. He was the CEO of both for 26 years until he retired in 1976. His second career was with McGregor Travel, Inc. which he bought in 1977. This career afforded he and his wife the opportunity to enjoy their passion for traveling the world. In 15 years he built the business to a major commercial travel agency with offices coast to coast, headquartered in Stamford. He retired in 1992.
John was an avid skier, both cross country and downhill. Tennis was his second sport and a great passion – especially in his retired years as a member of Riverside Yacht Club’s “Good Old Boys” tennis team. He was also very active in the Retired Men’s Association of Greenwich where he attended weekly seminars and field trips with his wife, Marie-Therese. He was also well known and loved as a volunteer driver at “Call a Ride” in Greenwich. In his younger years he did a lot of sailing. He was a member of Riverside Yacht Club for more than 50 years.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in John’s memory may be made to VNA Community Healthcare and Hospice, 753 Boston Post Road, Guilford, CT 06437.
A private service of the celebration of John's life will be held at the First Congregational Church in Old Greenwich.