Paul Bernard Riegert

Paul Bernard Riegert, Gaboomiigizinini (Standing bald eagle man), age 52, of Mahnomen, MN, died on Saturday, January 15, 2022, at his home.
Paul was born on July 23, 1969, in Detroit Lakes, MN, to Leo and Germaine (Bray) Riegert and was raised in Waubun, MN. He graduated from Waubun High School with the class of 1987 and furthered his education at Vermilion Community College where he majored in Fisheries and Wildlife Management. Paul was in his element when he was in the woods, which became his spiritual place of serenity and peace. At a young age, he earned the nickname “Boone” among his brothers and sisters because of a natural talent for hunting and trapping that continued into his adult life.
Paul worked as a fishing guide, first at Beland’s Moose Lake Resort in Ely, MN, where he also found his true calling, mushing sled dogs. In 1998, Paul entered The Klondike Derby and won second place in the six-dog class national championship. He also spent time in Alaska as a guide for Dall sheep and moose hunters. Paul later began working at Vosburgh’s Custom Cabin Rentals in Ely, where for over ten years he showed his natural talents as a fishing guide, Boundary Waters guide, and resort manager. In his spare time, Paul also had his own kennel, “PBR Kennels,” where he cared for over forty sled dogs, including his two favorite lead dogs, Togo and Piper. In 2010, he was forced to retire from his passions due to failing health.
Paul was humbly proud of his work as resort manager and earned an excellent reputation as a fishing guide. Many of his customers would request him by name and come back year after year. He frequently enjoyed a Backwoods Cigar, a cold Mt. Dew, and spending time with his extended family, especially his young nieces and nephews. He was involved with the Minnesota Trappers Association, Lake Minnetonka Klondike Dog Derby Association, and Alcoholics Anonymous.
Throughout the second half of his life, Paul battled alcoholism, a challenge that affected every part of his life and eventually took it. He accomplished many things and had many aspirations, but the power of the addiction ultimately proved too strong and overpowered his goals. His beautiful spirit, love of the outdoors, and willingness to help others will be remembered by his family and friends.
Paul is survived by his mother, Germaine Riegert; six siblings: Leo Riegert, Jr., Kenneth (Christie) Riegert, JoAnne (John) Riegert, Mary (Arnie) Riegert-Soyring, David (Amanda) Riegert, and Joseph (Amanda) Riegert; eleven nieces and nephews: Leah, Keith, Samantha, Jacob, Nicole, Julia, Maria, Cole, Austin, Brett and Gabriel; six great nieces and nephews; a goddaughter, Alyssa Bray; a good friend, April Kirsch; and many aunts and uncles.
Paul was preceded in death by his father, Leo Riegert; his maternal and paternal grandparents; one great nephew; and numerous aunts and uncles.
Paul’s family prefers that memorials be given in his memory to the Humane Society of the Lakes (218-847-0511, https://humanesocietyofthelakes.org/donate/).
A Memorial Mass was held at 11:00 AM on Monday, January 24, 2022, at St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Waubun, MN. A time of gathering began an hour before the funeral at the church. Inurnment was held at St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery in Beaulieu, MN.
Arrangements entrusted to Anderson Family Funeral Home, Mahnomen, Minnesota
Online Tribute: www.andersonfamilyfh.com