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Henry E. Riemenschneider, Jr.

Obituary for Henry E. Riemenschneider, Jr.

December 25, 1926 - January 23, 2019
San Antonio, Texas | Age 92


Henry E. Riemenschneider, Jr., 92, passed away on Wednesday, January 23, 2019, in San Antonio, TX. He was born on December 25, 1926, in Yoakum, TX, where he spent his childhood and graduated from high school, to parents Henry E. (Sr.) and Florence Emma (Shanks) Riemenschneider.
In June of 1944, at age 17, he enlisted in the Army Specialized Training Reserve Program. At 18, he was called to active duty and entered basic training at Camp Hood, now known as Ft. Hood, near Killeen, TX. Once basic training was completed, Henry was stationed in Batangas, Phillipines, as part of the Military Police assigned to guard munitions and supplies until February 1946. He was then transferred to Honolulu, HI, as a billeting clerk at Hickman Field, under Capt. Gamby, for seven months. Honorably discharged from active duty on November 26, 1946, he enlisted in the Army Reserves, where he served our country for the next three years before his final honorable discharge in October 1949.

Upon earning his Master's Degree in English from Southwest University in Georgetown, TX, in 1953, Henry accepted a teaching position at the VoAg College in Kabul, Afghanistan, thru the Afghan Ministry of Education. During the summer of 1957, Henry met Gloria Simpson, when both were invited to dinner at a mutual friend's home. Gloria, who lived in Tabriz, Iran, was on vacation from her job as a registered nurse, helping young women training in the nursing field. It was love at first sight for both of them. Before Gloria's return to Iran, two weeks later, they were engaged. They married on December 6, 1957, in Tabriz, Iran, when Gloria's employment contract ended, and returned to live in Kabul, Afghanistan. Seven months later, their son, Ron, arrived two months prematurely. When Henry's contract ended in 1959, they returned to the United States of America and settled in Austin, TX. After numerous miscarriages, their desire for another child, led them to the adoption of their daughter, Ellen, in the fall of 1962.

February of 1964, found the family headed to Iran, where Henry had accepted a position as a linguistics advisor for the Presbyterian Mission, C.O.E.M.A.R. The family remained in Iran for the next twelve years, except for a one-year furlough from 1969-1970. Several factors led to the decision to return to Texas in 1976. Inflation was out of control in Iran, civil unrest was escalating, Ron had graduated from high school and Ellen was set to begin high school. Henry accepted a position in Seguin, TX, at Texas Lutheran College (now University), where he taught for three years. In 1979, Henry and Gloria moved to Austin, where he taught at St. Edward's University and the University of Texas until he retired from teaching in 1991. Henry worked part-time for Sheraton Reservations as a reservation specialist from 1991 until May of 1993. When Gloria passed away in July 1993, Henry moved in with Ron and his family, in San Antonio, TX, for a couple of years then moved back to the house, he and Gloria had purchased many years before, in Seguin.

Henry always had a passion for the arts. He enjoyed poetry, classical music and painting. As a child, he learned to read music and played the violin. In his seventies and eighties, he taught himself to play an electric organ, spending many hours recording cassette tapes as he played. At a young age, Henry began making pencil sketches of famous actors and began oil painting. Although he never had any formal lessons, his paintings not only brought delight to family and friends, but even won a Best in Show ribbon at the Comal County Fair one year. In his eighties, although legally blind, Henry's children, and grandchildren, eagerly anticipated each year's Christmas gift from him, knowing they would be receiving one or two of his paintings.

At 89, Henry found himself needing more and more assistance with daily chores, as well as having problems with his strength and balance. He moved into a skilled nursing facility and the house in Seguin was sold. While clearing the house, Ellen found a large collection of poems that Henry had written over the years. Ellen, collaborating with a dear friend of hers, put poetry and paintings together in a hardbound book. Ron, Ellen and each of Henry's six grandchildren have a copy of the book, which they can share with each generation for years to come.

Henry was preceded in death by his parents, Henry (Sr.) and Florence Emma (Shanks) Riemenschneider; brother, Robert Reece Riemenschneider; wife, Gloria Ruth (Simpson) Riemenschneider and great granddaughter, Harliegh Rayne Wilkinson. He is survived by his son, Ron Riemenschneider (Lori); daughter, Ellen Durbin (Brian McKinney); grandchildren, Amanda Wilkinson (Scott), Ben Riemenschneider (Allyce), Zach Riemenschneider (Hannah), Thomas Durbin, Max Riemenschneider and Gloriana Durbin and his 9 great grandchildren, Glendon, Salvadore, Eleanor, Hayden, Caroline, Araydia, Margaret, Amelia and Oliver; numerous nieces and nephews. Henry was dearly loved and will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

Graveside Service
Friday - February 15, 2019 at 10:00 A.M.
Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery
Full military honors

Honorary Pallbearers will be his grandchildren: Ben, Zach, Max, Amanda, Thomas and Gloriana.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Texas Lutheran University Choir Program, in recognition of their support of the Vespers program that Henry faithfully attended each year, or to a charity of your choice. Please forward TLU contributions to The Development Office at Texas Lutheran University, 1000 W. Court St., Seguin, TX 78155.

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Porter Loring Mortuary

1101 McCullough Avenue
San Antonio, TX 78212
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