The New York Turtle and Tortoise Society


In Memoriam: Donald N. Riemer, 1934–2012

Donald N. Riemer, 78, died of cardiac arrest on June 13, 2012.  He was well known to NYTTS members as a contributing author of book reviews and articles in the Societyís publications in the 1980s and 90s.  He also frequently summarized turtle-related articles from scientific journals.

Don kept a number of Chinese box turtles, frilled lizzards, tons of plants, a parrot, and a red-footed tortoise.  His wife, Janet, was President of the African Violet Society of America.  He is author of Introduction to Freshwater Vegetation published in 1984.  While at Rutgers University, he conducted research and taught courses related to aquatic plants, as well as a special course on turtles.

Don was an avid collector of herpetological stamps. See his 1993 article, Chelonian Philately: Collecting Turtles and Tortoises on Stamps (PDF).


The following obituary appears on the Web site of the Wilson-Apple Funeral Home, Pennington, NJ:
     Donald N. Riemer, 78, passed away on June 13, 2012. He was born in Newark, NJ on February 14, 1934 to Fred W. Riemer and Kathryn Darvill Riemer.

     He was educated in the Newark, NJ public schools system and earned a B.S. degree from Rutgers University in Wildlife Conservation and Management in 1956. Following graduation he married Janet Helen Tepper of Bergenfield, NJ, and he and his wife moved to El Paso, TX, where he entered active duty in the U.S. Army at Fort Bliss. He attended Guided Missile Unit Commanderís School and served with the Military Police in the office of the Provost Marshall as Post Wildlife Management Officer.

     Upon being released from active duty in 1958, he attended Auburn University in Auburn, AL, where he was awarded a masterís degree in Fisheries Management in 1960. He returned to New Jersey and worked as a fisheries biologist for the New Jersey Division of Fish and Game until 1962 when he accepted employment at Rutgers University as an Instructor in the Department of Soils and Crops and simultaneously began working on a Ph.D. degree at that school. In 1966 he was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Soils and Crops with a specialty in aquatic weed control.

     He spent the rest of his career at Rutgers where he conducted research and taught courses related to aquatic plants. He served on numerous departmental, collegiate, and university-wide committees as well as serving as Director of the Graduate Program in Soils and Crops and Chairman of the Department of Soils and Crops. He retired from the university in 1993 and has resided in Hopewell Township, NJ for over 20 years.

     He is survived by his wife, Janet Riemer; daughter, Cathy Riemer; son, Michael Riemer; daughter-in-law, Katie Riemer; grandson, Crane Riemer; and sister, Carol Vesterdal.

     Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, June 19, at 11:00 am at the Wilson-Apple Funeral Home, 2560 Pennington Road, Pennington, NJ, with the Rev. William McQuoid officiating. Friends may call on Tuesday from 9:00 to 11:00 am at the funeral home. Burial will be in Harbourton Cemetery. Contributions may be made to the Nature Conservancy, 4245 Noroth Fairfax Dr., suite 100, Arlington, VA 22203-1606, or the American Heart Association, 1 Union St., Suite 301, Robbinsville, NJ 08691-4183.

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