Memorable Manitobans: Sebastian Berger Rieger (1910-2005)
Born at Steinbach on 26 March 1910 to Eva Berger (1884-1966) and Sebastianus Rieger (1883-1949), he completed his secondary education there and began a career in teaching at age 19, first at several rural one-room schools and then in a longer teaching position at Rosenhoff School.
While there, he married Katherina Barkman Janz (1912-2010), who was also a rural schoolteacher, in 1935, and they went on to have three children. He taught at Steinbach Collegiate then left teaching in 1949 to join his younger brother in taking over their deceased father’s business, Rieger Clothing Limited.
A few years later, he was elected to the Steinbach School Board, while his wife was active in promoting the petition and referendum that led to the creation of the Hanover School Division. In 1960, he was elected as the first Chairman of the new school board. His major accomplishment in that capacity was to guide the school division in the construction of four new high schools, at Steinbach, Grunthal, Niverville, and Landmark.
He was also active in his church, serving as Sunday School Superintendent, Deacon, and member of the Church Board of the Evangelical Mennonite Brethren Church, now the Cornerstone Bible Church.
He died at Steinbach on 9 April 2005 and was buried in the Steinbach Memorial Cemetery.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 12 April 2005.
Obituary [Katherine Rieger], Winnipeg Free Press, 23 November 2010.
“Sebastian Berger Rieger,” Kleckner-Cullin family tree, Ancestry.
This page was prepared by Lois Braun.
Page revised: 28 August 2022