Raymond Warren Rishel

Saturday 10th of July 2021

Raymond Warren Rishel

Raymond “Ray” Warren Rishel, 91, passed away peacefully Saturday, July 10, 2021 in Lexington, Kentucky. Ray was a family man with 4 children, and 10 grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife of 55 years, Mildred “Midge”. Ray is survived by a loving family: Penny Sengstacken (Bob) of Montvale, New Jersey; Natalie Jones (Neil) of Dallas, Texas; Bruce Rishel (Jessica) of Lexington, Kentucky; Eddy Rishel (Amey) of Atlanta, Georgia; and grandchildren; Aimee, Austin, Trent (Alana), Shannon, Gavin, Daniel, Morgan, Anemone, Alex and Olivia.


A celebration of his life will be held via Zoom Wednesday at 11:00am Eastern.


In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Sanders Brown Center on Aging &  Alzheimers  or Bluegrass Care Navigators (Hospice).


With one brother, Austin, 5 years older, Ray was born June 27, 1930 to Thora “Da” Maren Rishel and Raymond Heinstorf Rishel in small town Phillips, Wisconsin.  The farm and home had no running water or electricity until later in his childhood. He graduated high school in 1948 and from University of Wisconsin - Madison with a degree in Mathematics in 1952.  After serving his country in the Army, Ray returned to UW Madison and completed his doctorate in Mathematics on the G.I. Bill.


Dr. Rishel’s first position after school was in the Department of Aerospace at Boeing in Seattle, Washington.  While exploring the great Pacific Northwest, Ray met Midge. Both Midge and Ray enjoyed the outdoors and loved living in Seattle.  Ray especially enjoyed mountaineering, hiking, fishing, camping, and snow skiing. Ray often talked about how he summited Mount St. Helens twice before the volcanic mountain erupted. He also caught the 3rd largest salmon registered one day in Puget Sound.


Ray and family moved to New Jersey where he worked at the prestigious Bell Labs. After 3 years, Ray decided to pursue academics and research as a Professor of Mathematics in Operations Research at the University of Kentucky, where he remained until retirement.


You can still find Ray on Amazon if you’re interested in Deterministic and Stochastic Optimal Control (Stochastic Modelling and Applied Probability) Applications in Mathematics textbook that he co-authored with Wendell H. Fleming, available for only $180 dollars. ;)


Kentucky offered Ray many opportunities with his family. He was an avid participant in many bridge and hiking groups. He enjoyed waterskiing and spent much time in the summers at Lake Cumberland on their houseboat. Ray and Midge were members of Hunter Presbyterian Church.


Ray would certainly want to give his regards, thanks and love to family, friends and acquaintances for making his life so full! 

Guest Book

Colleen Duell


To Penny, Natalie, Bruce & Eddie: We want to express our deepest sympathy to all of you on the death of your dear father. We have lived close to the Rishel’s for a very long time.. The Montavesta boys were so well liked. Kevin & Eddie have been friends since 1972 and played together on a daily basis with matchbox cars in our backyard.. Ray was a amazing person with so much energy and very active. Midge was a beautiful person with a great smile. The memorial was very good and know it took a lot of preparation. May God bless all of you on this sad occasion. Ron & Colleen Duell

2 weeks ago

Harriet Renee Campbell


Sending love and condolences to his family and friends. He and Mildred were always a pleasure to be around! They will be missed by many.

3 weeks ago

Leslie Sapienza


May His memory be a blessing. Xo silences in the loss of a great mind and man

3 weeks ago