By: Pat Winter
Just two years ago Rich and Mary Sue Rieger were enjoying retirement in a lovely golfing community in Raleigh. Their neighborhood was filled with wonderful friends who were all part of a very active social community. They were content—almost. Today they are living in a lovely home here in Albemarle Plantation. What happened?
Boats and ships have always played an important part in Rich’s life. When he was just seven, Rich knew he wanted to become a naval officer. And Navy Commander Rieger did just that, guiding ships of all sizes and shapes through oceans and into harbors all around the world, of-ten transporting Marines to their next assignment. These ships included surface war-fare vessels, hover-crafts, and guided missile frigates. “Everything but air-craft carriers,” commented Rick. Some of his naval assignments were the stories we read on the front pages of our newspapers, as Commander Rieger and his amphibious squadrons were instrumental in the planned withdrawal of westerners out of Rwanda and the withdrawal of UN forces from Somalia.
So, as you might expect, in retirement Rich and Mary Sue are the proud owners of a forty-five-foot Sea Ray, The Quiet Man. But while living in Raleigh, they kept the boat three hours away in a marina in Norfolk. Travel time and congestion in the Norfolk area prompted them to reconsider the boat’s docking location. Their Norfolk cruising club suggested they visit the Albemarle Plantation Marina as a possible alternative home port.
Their first visit here left a lasting impression. “Albemarle Plantation was a jewel in the center of no-where,” commented Rich. “I never imaged a community could combine both golf and a marina.” Mary Sue, too, was impressed with the variety of custom-built homes.
So, after their initial visit, the Riegers returned and spent a weekend here playing a round of golf with Billy Rowell and talking about boats and marinas with Charlene and Mike Finamore, Osprey Yacht Club members, and boating enthusiasts. “We really weren’t planning to move,” remembers Mary Sue.
But move they did. They are now homeowners on Nottaway Drive, and their boat has found a convenient marina berth just one and a half miles away. Mary Sue, who grew up in a small town in Iowa, loves returning to the small town feel of Plantation life. She worked for many years for Motorola in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, until making the big decision to move to California in 1990, where she meet Rich. There she built a Human Resource department for Rick Ring Enterprises and later helped to launch a new factory for Maxell (the audio tape maker) in the Sili-con Valley. She also worked as the Human Resources Manager for a Hitachi plant right near the Mexican border outside San Diego. After living the big city life, Mary Sue admits she is a small-town girl at heart, and the Plantation lifestyle makes her feel right at home.
Did you catch the last play at the Carolina Moon Theater, The Savannah Sipping Society? Mary Sue was one of the amazing four women in the cast. The play depicted the meeting and developing friend-ships of four lonely, but lovely ladies. Mary Sue re-calls that the four actresses, too, became good friends, and the play’s fictional story became a reality by the time they took their last curtain call. Mary Sue hopes to return to the stage at the Carolina Moon Theater but is also volunteering her time to write publicity for the theater group.
When you meet the Riegers, be sure to ask Rich about his amazing collection of military swords and memorabilia. And check with Mary Sue about their adorable shihtsu, Bella. Welcome home, Rich and Mary Sue!