The Picayune Item
(April 14, 1920 - December 26, 2012)
SHREVEPORT, La. —
Henry LeRoy Riser, 92, a lifelong resident of Shreveport, La., passed away December 26 in Picayune, Miss. His beloved wife of 57 years, Lynelle, preceded him in death in 1999.
He was born in Shreveport, April 14, 1920 to Henry Clay and Effie Garner Riser. He graduated from Fair Park High School, active in many organizations and serving as president of a number of them. He began his college studies at LSU in Baton Rouge but was interrupted by the activation of his National Guard unit, the 156th Infantry Regiment. He volunteered for active duty with the unit and completed OCS with the rank of 2d Lieutenant, Infantry. His unit spent time training in the Louisiana Maneuvers and later in Texas where he met and married Lynelle Kebelman in 1942.
Following his assignment as the company commander, Company L, 156th Infantry Regiment, his unit deployed to England, where he was promoted to Captain, and assisted in the training of D-Day forces. Two weeks after D-Day, his unit deployed to France taking on assignments as guard forces for docks and supply stations on the Red Ball Express. His request for a combat assignment resulted in a transfer to the 4th Infantry Division as the Company Commander of E Company, 22d Infantry Regiment. After 4 months on the line, he was given the mission of taking a small town in Germany. Leading the assault, he was wounded while taking out a Germany Army anti-aircraft gun position, and later, as he led his company in a final assault on the German defenses, he was wounded again by mortar fire. Unable to walk, he first made sure his company had consolidated their defensive positions in the town, then armed with only a pistol, had 8 German POWs carry him back to his aid station. He was awarded the Silver Star for Gallantry in Action and the Purple Heart for wounds suffered. He was evacuated back to the US and, while recuperating, was promoted to Major. He received orders for the Pacific Theater but the war ended before he deployed. Returning to Shreveport, he continued his college education, earning a Bachelor’s degree from Centenary College. He then was accepted into a Master’s Degree program in History at LSU which he successfully completed. He accepted a position as the Head Master of a boy’s military school, Jefferson Military Academy, in Mississippi. When the school closed, he returned to Shreveport with his wife and, by this time, the first two of his five children, and began a long career as an insurance claims adjuster.
After several years with the General Adjustment Bureau and the addition of three more children, he and two partners started their own independent claims adjustment company, Riser, Young, and Kolb, later taking in a fourth partner to become Riser, Young, Kolb, and Gay. The Continental Group bought out the company and he became the Regional Manager for Continental.
He was an active member in the Odd Fellows and for many years a member of the Elks Club, serving a term as Grand Exalted Ruler of the lodge in Shreveport and, later, as President of the Louisiana Elks Association. After retiring from Continental, he and his wife, Lynelle, spent their time traveling to see their children and grandchildren, sharing his love of history and escorting them to historic sites.
He was also preceded in death by: his parents; brother, William T. Riser; sister-in-law, Dorothy Riser both of Shreveport; brother, Robert B. Riser of Dallas; and son-in-law, Max G. Hill of Houston.
Survivors include: his daughter, Cherye and husband Henry Roussel of Baton Rouge; son, Henry and wife Karen Schlubach Riser of Annapolis, Md.; daughter, Kaye and husband Peter Birkholz of Huntsville, Texas; son, Robert of Los Angeles, Calif.; son, Dr. James and wife Sharon MacIntyre Riser of Picayune, Miss.; and sister-in-law, Virginia Riser of Dallas. Grandchildren include: Thomas Quinn Roussel of Denver, Colo.; Lynlea Rudell of Virginia Beach, Va.; Clay Riser of Evergreen Colo.; Jonathan Riser of Annapolis; Jason Hill of Washington, D.C.; Garland Hill of Austin, Texas; Parker Hill of Dallas; Jonathan Birkholz of Katy, Texas; Allan Birkholz of Katy; Sadie Tiner of Gulfport, Miss.; Sarah Lytle of Shreveport; Sally Moyers of Shreveport; Ashley Riser of Los Angeles; Matthew Riser of Hammond, La.; Alexander Riser of Jackson, Miss.; and Jacob Riser of Picayune. He is also survived by 12 great-grandchildren.
Visitation was held from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturday, December 29, 2012 at Osborn Funeral Home. Funeral services followed at 1 p.m. in the Osborn Chapel, with burial following immediately at Forest Park Cemetery. Services were conducted by the Rev. Ken Irby of Broadmoor Methodist Church. Honorary Pallbearers include all the grandsons.