Dr. Donald "Al" Rieck
Dr. Al Rieck graduated in 1953 from Iowa City High School and from the University of Iowa in 1959, receiving both his undergraduate degree and dental degree (DDS) in just six years. After graduation, he and his wife Sandra chose to settle in Waseca. Dr. Rieck dedicated the next 48 years of his life to raising a family, serving the town through his dental practice and providing leadership to the community as an energetic devoted volunteer for numerous organizations. The area that was the closest to his heart was supporting the student, faculty, and administration of the Waseca public Schools for more than 40 years. In addition to serving as chairman of the school board for 15 years, he always supported Waseca High School athletics.
Reflecting on Dr. Rieck’s years of service, some have referred to him as the “face of the school system” and an “icon on the sidelines.” He was famous for asking “What’s in it for the kids?” His primary concern was providing the best facilities, teachers, equipment, and programs for Waseca students to be successful. He was dedicated to the betterment of the school system across the board over many years of demonstrated support.
Perhaps one of his greatest legacies was leading effort to purchase the land necessary to build a new high school in the early 1970’s. Dr. Rieck had the foresight to realize that the community would need a new facility. He not only encouraged the purchase of enough land on the edge of town to accommodate a new high school but also enough land for softball fields, football fields and practice fields as well as enough to erect a new football stadium in 1979. He planned for the future building of a new junior high school by ensuring there was enough land for that endeavor. He also helped with the transition of Sacred Heart as they merged with the public school.
Dr. Rieck’s interest and involvement with WHS athletics lasted even after his children graduated, up until he became terminally ill. He was very supportive of the Bluejay Booster Program, serving for a time as president. He enjoyed running the chains at football games, and overseeing the buzzer and scoreboard at basketball games.
To provide a scholarship for graduating seniors in memory of former superintendent Phil Stoltenberg, Rotarian Dr. Rieck initiated the formation of the Stoltenberg Fund, founded in the 1970’s to help students pursue their educational goals.
Dr. Rieck passed away at the age of 71 on Father’s Day, June 17, 2007 and is survived by his wife Sandra and three children, Lori, Corey and Andrew.