BOISE, Idaho — Emil Reich, of Boise, Idaho, passed away at his home on July 7, 2019, at the age of 99. Born on Jan. 19, 1920, in Wishek, North Dakota, to Andreas and Jacobina Reich, he was the fourth of fourteen siblings. Emil loved his family and life in North Dakota and had many wonderful stories about growing up in a large family.
He joined the Civilian Conservation Corps and served in the United States Army during WWII; stationed in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. He also served as an interpreter during the war, familiar with the different dialects of the German language. In February of 2019, he was awarded the Legion of Honor medal by the French Government for his active duty at Omaha Beach, Battle of the Bulge, and Ardennes region. The ceremony was held at the Capitol Rotunda in Boise, Idaho, and attended by current and past service members, legislators, family, and friends. Emil was proud of his military service and grateful to have received this prestigious honor. Following his time in the military, he married Virginia (June) Creek and settled in Billings, Montana, where they raised their four children.
Emil is survived by his daughter, Kelly Reich; his daughters-in-law, Kathy Reich and Cindy Hopper; grandchildren Erin Howard (Chris Howard), Katie Depies (Alex Depies), Ryan Hand, Jacob Reich, Keegan Reich; sister, Tena Christensen and brother-in-law Chris; sisters-in-law, Anita Reich and Bea Reich; great-grandchildren, Isaac, Alaina, and Angelene Howard. He was preceded in death by his wife Virginia; his daughter, Linda Bernhardt (Clifford Bernhardt); and sons, Larry and Tracy Reich.
A grave site service will be held at 10 a.m. on August 23, Sunset Memorial Gardens.