Ronald R. Riel
Ronald R. Riel, age 76, of Millcreek Twp. passed away surrounded by his family at St. Vincent after a sudden illness. He was born in Worcester, MA on December 24, 1946, the son of the late Robert F. and Lorraine Poirier Riel. The family moved to Erie in the 50’s for work opportunities and it was then that Ron discovered his love for music. He graduated from Cathedral Prep in 1964. He began in his teens to play his saxophone at many events around the area. After graduation, he used that talent to perform with many bands in the area where he met his wife, Kathy Gido Riel. He enlisted in the U.S Air Force in 1966 where he became a member of the Air Force band; performing for dignitaries in the United States and Europe. Upon discharge, he enjoyed a long and distinguished career as a Quality Control Manager and Engineer, retiring from Thomas Erie, Inc. in 2008. He never gave up his first passion, playing music. He was active in many bands in the area most recently Gem City Bands where he blew that sax in both the Concert and Jazz Bands.
Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his in- laws Michael and Julia Vereb Gido, his brother-in-law Donald Golino, and an infant granddaughter, Brittany Ann Riel. He is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Kathy, sisters: Gloria Riel, Patricia Bielik, and Susan Golino, a brother Robert “Skip” Riel, sons; Todd (Rebecca) Lexington, NC, Mark (Karen) Wilmington, NC, a daughter Kristen Merryman, Millcreek Twp., grandchildren: Alexis Riel (Chad Leftwish), Abby Hutchins, Christopher Riel, Cameron and Mason Riel, Gage, Eric, and Ava Newkirk, Brittany and Bryce A Merryman. He was also blessed with great- grandchildren; Wyatt, Lorelai, Savannah, Nicholas, Noah, Tanner, Nathaniel, Orion, and Osiris, a brother-in-law Michael Gido (Kathe), many nieces and nephews, and his Grand Dog, Cooper.
He was an active member of Sts. Peter and Paul Byzantine Catholic Church and even worked with the baking group after his retirement. Friends may call at the Dusckas-Martin Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc., 4216 Sterrettania Rd., Erie, PA 16506 on Monday, October 16, 2023 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. with a prayer service on Tuesday, October 17, 2023 at 9 am at the funeral home followed by a Liturgy at Sts. Peter and Paul Church, 3415 Wallace Street at 10 a.m. conducted by Father John Mihalco. Private interment at a later date. In lieu of flowers memorials can be made to Sts. Peter and Paul Church or Gem City Bands.org (click on donation tab).