Allen James Rishe, 88, of Ogdensburg, NY, passed away Thursday, October 27, 2022 at St. Joseph’s Home surrounded by members of his loving family. Calling hours were from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 30, 2022 at Frary’s Funeral Home, Ogdensburg. A funeral mass was held at St. Mary’s Cathedral at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, October 31, 2022 with Reverend Father James Shurtleff officiating. Interment took place at St. Mary’s Cemetery with full military honors immediately after Mass.
Allen is survived by his beloved wife, Lois Jane Rishe of Ogdensburg, their children, Bryan Rishe and his wife, Peggy (Lake Norman, NC), Angela (Rishe) Morley and her husband, Michael (Ogdensburg) , Amy (Rishe) Hanssen and husband, Hank (Redmond, WA), David Rishe and wife, Melody (Ogdensburg), Stephen Rishe and wife, Cris E (Ogdensburg), John Rishe (Ogdensburg), Allen Rishe, Jr .and his wife, Mary (Tarzana, Calif.), Anthony Rishe and his wife, Mary Jane (Lisbon), and Stuart Rishe and his wife, Nancy (Ogdensburg). Allen is also survived by his two sisters, Marie Craven (Ogdensburg) and Elaine Craig (Arden, NC), and a half-brother, James Rishe (Clovis, NM). He is also survived by thirty-three grandchildren, twenty-three great-grandchildren and several nieces, nephews and cousins. Allen is predeceased by a son, Gregory Rishe, his father Francis J. and his mother Odile M. (Garceau) Rishe, his stepmother, Mary Graveline Larose Rishe and his brothers, Lester Rishe and Kenneth Rishe.
Allen was born on December 3, 1933 in Ogdensburg, NY. Allen graduated from St. Mary’s Academy in 1951 where he was class president his junior and senior years. He then attended the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, where he graduated with honors with a BA in Philosophy/Political Science. He was president of his junior class and a member of the Blue Key National Honor Society.
Allen married his high school sweetheart, Jane LaRose, on June 2, 1954, at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Ogdensburg, NY, with Reverend Floyd Brown as officiant.
Mr. Rishe served his country in the United States Air Force and attained the rank of Captain before his honorable discharge in 1957. Allen was a member of the Sigma Beta Kappa fraternity and also won the Distinguished Military Student Award under the USAF ROTC program. Allen went on to serve his country for ten years as a member of the USAF Reserves.
Mr. Rishe returned to Ogdensburg in 1958 and began his teaching career as a history teacher at the Ogdensburg Free Academy. He was eventually promoted to head of the social studies department. Allen continued his education, earning his master’s degree in education from St. Lawrence University in 1965. Mr. Rishe held an administrative position where he was summer school principal from 1971 to 1976 and then again from 1980 to 1990. Allen was promoted to assistant manager. from high school in 1980 until his retirement in 1990. During his tenure, Mr. Rishe was a member of the NYS Teachers Association and a member of the Legislative Committee. He held the following positions: Vice President – 1964-1965, President 1965-1966 and Chief Negotiator 1967-1968. He was a member of the Ogdensburg Teachers Association and the Public School Employees Federal Credit Union.
Allen was also elected to and served 9 consecutive terms on the St. Lawrence County Board of Supervisors and the St. Lawrence County Board of Legislators. During his tenure in the Legislative Assembly, he served as chair of the finance committee, the E-911 committee and a member of other council committees. He was appointed as the first St. Lawrence County Trustee in 1989, a position he held until his retirement in 1996. Allen also served as a delegate to the NYS House of Delegates from 1968 to 1970.
Allen was also a member of the Community Advisory Board of Ogdensburg and Riverview Correctional Facilities and a member of the special task force to bring a correctional facility to Ogdensburg. He was also a member of the SLC ad hoc committee on solid waste from 1982 to 1984; Chairman of the Charter Review Commission in 1984; Member of the 112th Assembly District Democratic Committee from 1974 to 1977; member of the SLC Democratic Committee from 1969 to 1980; Chairman of the city’s inaugural committee in 1970. Mr. Rishe was instrumental in initiating the city manager form of government and became a member of the Ogdensburg city charter commission in 1968.
Mr. Rishe was a devout member of the parish of St. Mary’s Cathedral where he served as treasurer, commentator, reader and radio host for Sunday Mass. Allen and Jane have been named Diocesan President of the Christian Family Movement based in Chicago, Illinois. , from 1965 to 1967. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus, 3rd degree. Allen was also a member of the Ogdensburg Federal Credit Union where he served as treasurer, vice president, chairman, and member of the credit committee.
Allen enjoyed spending time with his family, teaching and serving his community. More than anything else, he had a unique ability to reach out to everyone he met with genuine empathy and kindness. Many have commented on this, including his children, grandchildren, students, peers and friends. It was a special gift that left an impression on many. This is his true legacy. He sympathized with what others were going through in life. He understood.
Donations may be made in Allen’s memory to St. Joseph’s Retirement Home or St. Mary’s Cathedral, both in Ogdensburg, NY.
Online condolences can be made at www.fraryfuneralhome.com.