Jerry Riess

Jerry Riess, dedicated missionary, attorney, pastor, entrepreneur, beloved father, and grandfather passed away peacefully in his sleep the morning of October 23, 2022. Jerry was 82 years old. He was born in Seattle, WA to Allen and Alice Riess. He was the youngest of 4 boys: Bill, Charles, and Robert Riess. As a student at George Washington Law School in D.C. he served a three-year Congressional Internship for Congresswoman Catherine May and Senator Henry Jackson from 1959 -1962. He completed Law School in 1964 and obtained his Juris Doctorate Degree from Georgetown Law School in 1965. Jerry practiced law at Schweppe, Reiter, Doolitle and Krug. He married Karen Gebhardt, his wife of 30 years, in 1967. Jerry then worked in the King County Prosecutors office as a Prosecutor and Chief Deputy of Domestic Relations Division until 1970. Jerry was an accomplished attorney for many years. Jerry became partner at Riess & Swanson Law Office in 1971, which eventually became Riess Law Office in 1975. Among running his own practice, he also opened a Christian bookstore in Burien, named "Genesis Bookstore". This little Christian bookstore became so popular that two other stores were opened in Kent and Covington. The bookstores ran successfully for many years. Jerry enjoyed volunteering and served on many boards including Friends of Youth, Griffin Home for Boys, Burien Arts Association, International Law Society, and the Seattle Christian School Board. He loved baseball and was a loyal fan to the Mariners and a dedicated season ticket holder. He also enjoyed movies and was a world traveler. He enjoyed taking his wife on many excursions to Israel, Hawaii, and Europe. They also enjoyed trips to China, Russia, and they both enjoyed taking cruises as often as possible.

At the age of 50, Jerry decided to retire from his law practice and become a full time Missionary, while also adding a Pastoral degree to his other academic accomplishments. Jerry preached, sent aid, and helped build churches in various countries: Romania, Africa, & Philippines, to name a few. In 1991 he started his own non-profit ministry called, "Caleb Good News Ministry," of which he was director until he passed. He also authored three books about his life and missionary experience, the most popular one called, "The Chorba Trail," and a children's book called "The Backwards Clock". It can be said that directing Caleb Good News was his greatest love, and what he received from ministering, sending aid, and church building was by far his greatest joy.

He is survived by his daughter Maria, son Jerry Jr, son-in-law Scott, and grandson Riess. He was truly a joy to others and loved unconditionally with his whole heart. He was a great man and will be missed. He made his mark, and great will be his reward in Heaven. Love you, Dad.

  1. Memorial

    In Loving Memory of Jerry Riess
    December 12, 1939 - October 23, 2022

  2. Slideshow

    In Loving Memory of Jerry Riess
    December 12, 1939 - October 23, 2022