Cover photo for Gertrude Rieb's Obituary
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Gertrude Rieb

October 29, 1932 — June 12, 2024

Denver

Gertrude Rieb

Gertrude Rieb, nee Speier, 91, of Denver, Colorado, passed away peacefully Wednesday, June 12, 2024. 

 Born in 1932, in Kellen, Germany, she was the daughter of the late Heinrich and Josefine Speier. Gertrude began her life in the arms of a loving family. Gertrude’s early life was marked by displacement, struggle, tragedy, and resilience due to World War II. In 1940, her father was drafted as a Luftwaffe medic, and the next few years of her life were characterized by a series of displacements, spending time in Nord Rhine-Westfalen, Baden-Wuerttemberg, and Saxon-Anhalt. Gertrude took on the role of helping care for her younger brother, Hans, often carrying him into the shelter during air raids because he was such a deep sleeper. The war claimed her father's life in the spring of 1945. In the fall of 1945, Gertrude, Hans, and their mother had to escape from Russian-controlled Germany and worked towards rebuilding their lives in Buer, Germany during a time of mass poverty and hunger.

 In 1949, Gertrude attended a dance with her mother, where Gertrude danced with a young man by the name of Joe. That night, Joe told his friends that Gertrude was the girl that he was going to marry. On June 20, 1953, Gertrude and Joe shared their Catholic marriage vows, vows that required them to have and to hold, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death. These vows, wrapped in love, were demonstrated throughout their life. They built a life together that positively impacted those around them. They traveled together, built an apartment business, and supported each other through times of happiness and trial. Their love was on public display as they compassionately cared for each other through multiple bouts with cancer and illness. Whether it was Gertrude or Joe who was stricken, their courageous and unfailing devotion to each other symbolized the power of sacrificial love.

 In April 1961, Gertrude and Joe moved to the United States to be with her brother, Hans, and his family. Soon after arriving in the United States, Gertrude continued her career as a tailor, working for Steins, Cottrells, and Denver Dry Goods. She was noted for her skill and being the tailor of choice for the difficult alterations. She also came to the rescue of her family by altering clothes for special events. Gertrude and Joe created a lifetime worth of memories with her brother’s family. Fond memories of parties, fishing trips, cards, board games, and German cultural events are a legacy that her family will carry forever. 

 Gertrude’s life was marked by the qualities of hospitality and camaraderie. After learning how to play cards with Joe, she obtained a life-long love of cards. Until shortly before her death, she played bridge weekly, and always enjoyed playing scat. Her sense of camaraderie and love of company led to the formation of many deep friendships over the years. From the bridge club to the Edelweiss club, from neighbors both in Crestmoor Park and in Desert Hot Springs, Gertrude developed several deep and caring relationships. Everyone who knew her can attest to the efforts she took to make every guest comfortable. One would enter her home at any time of day and be presented with a multitude of cakes, nuts, candy, and a full meal of roast pork, potato pancakes, enchiladas, and a glass of Chardonnay.

 Gertrude is survived by her sister-in law Sidonia Speier, her nephew: Henry Speier (Ann) and niece Joann Nerheim (Kirk); her five grandnephews: Kevin Nerheim (Rachel), John Speier, Bruce Nerheim, William Speier, and Christopher Speier; and her great-grandniece Hailey Nerheim and great-grandnephew Kaden Nerheim. In Germany, Gertrude is survived by her niece Gisela Schoofs (Manfred), her grandniece Melanie Sielenkaemper (Ralf), her great-grandnieces Celine Sielenkaemper and Cara Sielenkaemper as well as by many cousins, nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, great-grandnieces, and great-grandnephews.

 In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the charity of your choice in Gertrude Rieb’s memory. 

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, June 21, 2024

9:00 - 10:00 am (Mountain time)

Christ the King Catholic Roman Catholic Church

830 Elm St, Denver, CO 80220

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Rosary

Friday, June 21, 2024

10:00 - 10:30 am (Mountain time)

Christ the King Catholic Roman Catholic Church

830 Elm St, Denver, CO 80220

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Mass

Friday, June 21, 2024

10:30 - 11:30 am (Mountain time)

Christ the King Catholic Roman Catholic Church

830 Elm St, Denver, CO 80220

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Reception

Friday, June 21, 2024

Starts at 11:30 am (Mountain time)

Christ the King Catholic Roman Catholic Church

830 Elm St, Denver, CO 80220

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