Donald Edgar Riesenberg, M.D.

Born: 1/21/1942
Died: 2/10/2012

Dr. Donald E. Riesenberg passed away peacefully on Friday, February 10, 2012, in the presence of his wife, Dr. Lee Ann Riesenberg, and his son, Ash Gough. Don was 70 years old and died under the care of Delaware Hospice.
Don will be remembered by all as a brilliant man and outstanding physician, with a quick wit and wonderful sense of humor. He was loved and respected by his patients and colleagues. Don was a Board Certified Internist, with Geriatrics Certification, who specialized in geriatrics during the last years of his 44-year practice. He was known for the time he spent with his patients, listening to their stories, and appreciating their lives. His skills and dedication were legendary in his field, as is evident in the letters and sentiments Don received from colleagues and patients in the days leading up to his passing. He worked until two weeks before his death, serving as the Medical Director and attending physician at Churchman Village, in Newark, and Associate Medical Director and attending physician at Stonegates, in Greenville. Notably, he had not taken a vacation in 5 years and took call on his patients 24/7.
Of his many outstanding accomplishments, some of his proudest were doing volunteer work at Hopital Albert Schweitzer, Deschapelles, Haiti, being senior editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association from 1986 until 1991, and chief co-editor of Geriatric Medicine, 2nd Edition textbook; teaching at Washington University, Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, MO, and University of Chicago, in Illionois; and being the recipient of the 2010 Delaware End of Life Coalition Physician’s Excellence Award for Hospice and Palliative Care.
Don was valedictorian of his 1960 high school class. He continued his education at Drury College, in Springfield, MO. After 3 years, he matriculated to the University of Missouri Medical School, where he received many honors including being named valedictorian of the 1968 graduating class.
Don was a world traveler who spent a semester of medical school at Oxford in London, England. He long remembered his trip to Florence, Italy as his favorite place to visit. He lived for 3 years in the islands of Japan, serving as a Major in the USAF Medical Corp, and always had great appreciation for and knowledge of Japanese art, cuisine, and culture. He delighted in his children’s successes and accomplishments and showed and told them so. His favorite pastime was reading books, then later his Kindle®, and Don was always ready to discuss and review movies, books, current events, and pop culture.
He will be feverently and forever loved and missed by his best friend and wife, Lee Ann; children, Kathryn Riesenberg, MS (Matthew Schuchard), of Columbia MO, Benjamin Riesenberg of Portland, OR, Ash Gough (Brandi), of Fulton, NY, Christy Reichard (Randy), of Springfield, MO; sister, Diane Hufft, and her husband, Dr. Robert Hufft, of Springfield, MO; nieces and nephew, Ashley Hufft (son, Maxwell Eyasu) and Amy Hufft, both of NY, NY, and Matthew Hufft (Jesse and children, Rock and Cash), of Kansas City, KS; and grandchildren, Evan and Ella Reichard. He was preceded in death by his mother and father, Helen M. and Robert L. Riesenberg, and his 2 beloved cats, Baby and Beauty.
A memorial service will be held at 4 pm on Friday, February 17, 2012, at the Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Home, 121 W. Park Place, Newark, DE.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions in Don’s name be sent to the Alzheimer’s Association, 399 Market St., Ste 102, Philadelphia, PA 19106 or to the Food Bank of Delaware, 14 Garfield Way, Newark, DE 19713.

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One Condolence for Donald Edgar Riesenberg, M.D.

  • I just came across this obituary today, almost nine years after Don’s passing. I found it because I was thinking of him and just wanted to see what I could find, not thinking I would find his obituary. I worked with Don in the mid-1970’s in St. Louis at The Medical Care Group of Washington University, an HMO that the medical school had founded. I was the pharmacist for the facility, freshly graduated from The St. Louis College of Pharmacy. Don was one of a handful of internists in that practice and I came to be friends with him through that experience. Don taught me a lot, about a lot of things, ranging from clinical medicine to literature, photography, and cinema. My, how he loved cinema. We lost touch after he left for Haiti and were never again in contact. I must say that all of the things written above, so beautifully expressed, were also true almost fifty years ago (except the Kindle). I have treasured that friendship and that experience all my life. Wherever Don is now, they are all learning something, helping others, and having fun doing it.