James T. Riegel, Sr.
 
By MSFA Committee Chair Richard Snader
November 12, 2017
 

On November 11, 2017, James T. Riegel Sr. beloved husband to late Mary A. Riegel, Devoted father to Jon Riegel and his wife Mitzi, Laura McElwee and her husband Ronald, Craig M. Riegel Sr. and his wife Jean, and the late James T. Riegel Jr. and his late wife Lonnie; Loving grandfather to 8 grandchildren, 7 great grandchildren and was predeceased by granddaughter Courtney L. McElwee. Jim was an active member of the North Point Edgemere Volunteer Fire Department where he served for nearly 70 years. He also retired from the U.S. Navy Reserves in 1982 and from Bethlehem Steel in 1984.

Past President of the Baltimore County Volunteer Fireman's Association and Life Member of North Point Edgemere VFD James Riegel Sr. passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by his family early this morning.

Jim was the father of Craig Riegel, a life member of the North Point Edgemere Volunteer Fire Department, and Father-in-law of Ronald McElwee, a life member of North Point Edgemere Volunteer Fire Department, and Wise Avenue Volunteer Fire Company, and predeceased by James Riegel Jr., also a life member of North Point Edgemere Volunteer Fire Department.

Jim, who was also known as Pappy and Abner, was a life member of the North Point Edgemere Volunteer Fire Department, joining in 1948 and serving nearly 70 years. He served as Lieutenant briefly before serving as Chief from 1952-1970, and then Assistant Chief from 1972-1991. Jim also served on the board of governors from 1950-1990.

Throughout his time in the fire service, Jim received the Fireman of the Year award from the VFW twice, a silver star, 4 Unit Citations, and an Amtrak ribbon. He was in the Top Ten Reaponders for over 50 years, worked the carnival every year from 1948 until 2014, and started the installation of officers in 1967.

Jim was President of the Baltimore County Volunteer Fireman's Association from 1965-1966, Vice President from 1966-1967. He served as the Loan Fund Chairman for over 40 years and was named Chairman In meritus in September. Jim was chairman of the BCVFA Communications Committee at one time, a committee that he still actively served until his passing. He served on various other BCVFA committees and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001.

Jim was also active in the Maryland State Fireman's Association where he served on various committees including the Hall of Fame Committee, the Board of Review, the Sergeant at Arms Committee, and was an active member of the Search and Rescue committee up until his passing. Jim was inducted into the Maryland State Fireman's Association Hall of Fame in 2001, a life member of the Maryland Fire Chiefs Association, and attended the annual convention every year from 1948-2017.

Baltimore County Fire Department Chief Kyrle Preis named Jim the first ever Honorary Fire Chief of the Baltimore County Fire Department on November 2nd, an accomplishment he was extremely humbled to receive, but definitely deserved. As Chief Preis said, Jim was a father to some, a leader to many, and a mentor to all.

The family will receive friends at the family owned and operated CONNELLY FUNERAL HOME OF DUNDALK, 7110 Sollers Point Road, on Wednesday and Thursday November 15 &16 from 3-5 and 7-9 PM. A Mass of Christian burial to celebrate Jim's life will be held on Friday November 17 at 10:00 AM at the St. Luke's Catholic Church. 7517 North Point Rd Interment will follow at the Gardens of Faith Cemetery. In lieu of flowers please make donations to the St. Luke's Catholic Church 7517 North Point Road, Edgemere, Maryland 21219 or North Point Edgemere Volunteer Fire Department 7500 North Point Road, Edgemere, Maryland 21219.