March 17, 2020, is the 100th birthday of one of my Riedel first cousins, Louis Kelley Riedel.
Kelley was born in Minden City, Michigan, the same small town where my Riedel grandparents lived. His namesake was undoubtedly my (also his) grandfather, Louis Riedel. Kelley was his mother’s maiden name, and as far as I know it’s the name he has always gone by. The fact that he was born on St. Patrick’s Day must have been a big influence!
During his high school years, Kelley lived in Harbor Beach, Michigan, which is on Lake Huron. My mother, Nettie Riedel (“Nan”), had Kelley (and some of my other Riedel cousins, her nieces and nephews) as students when she was teaching at Harbor Beach High School. She always said that they had to work twice as hard as the other students because they were related to “Miss Riedel,” and she didn’t want that to look like an unfair advantage.
Kelley served in the U.S. Army during World War II, and after he returned home, he and his first wife, Virginia (“Jinks”) and his family continued to live in Harbor Beach until they migrated to Phoenix, Arizona. Kelley and his second wife, Ramona, and his three children still live in the Phoenix area.
Kelley has always been known for his friendly, low-key disposition and his wonderful sense of humor. Happy birthday, Kelley!