Melvin Richard Rieder, 83, of Connersville, lost his battle with Covid-19 and passed away on Thursday, January 13, 2022, at Reid Health in Richmond.

He was born February 4, 1938, one of six children of Raymond and Sylvia Watt Rieder. He was a 1956 graduate of Harrisburg High School.

For over 50 years, Melvin worked as a professional tool and die maker for Dieco, Inc., in Connersville.

A talented craftsman, Melvin was well known across the country for his singular ability to design and build engines of all types. They included racing engines for drag cars in the 1960s and continued with drag motorcycles until the mid 1980s, ultralight aircraft engines in the 1990s, and pulling tractors in the early 2000s. Early on, he was a partner in the DVR Raceway slot car track on Grand Avenue (1967). Later in life, Melvin built and flew radio controlled airplanes, including spectacular, custom-built radial engines. He was also a master metal worker, welder, woodworker, gunsmith, builder, and inventor. He was known for being a motorcycle rider all of his adult life and regularly took long road trips on his Honda Goldwing.

A lifelong learner, Melvin was a voracious reader and enjoyed many kinds of music. He was drawn to the outdoors and was an animal lover. He always had at least one cat and tenderly cared for every stray feline soul that found its way to him.

Survivors include two children, Kris (Rachel) Rieder of Richmond, Indiana and Leigh Ann Rieder of Creswell, Oregon; a granddaughter, Rebeckah (Mark) Rieder-Hester of Richmond, Indiana; a step-granddaughter, Jenny Zhan of Indianapolis, Indiana; two great-grandsons, Bryson and Braxton Hester; three siblings, Sylvia “Bebe” Rieder of Clearwater, Florida; Cherril “Cherry” (Robert) Horn of New Madison, Ohio, Brent (Robin) Rieder of Cibolo, Texas; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

He is preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Mariel Rieder Henderson; and a brother, Steve Rieder.

Family and friends are invited to a Celebration of Melvin’s Life at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, January 22, 2022 at Miller, Moster, Robbins Funeral Home in Connersville. For everyone’s health and safety, the family requires all attending to wear a mask. A brief visitation will begin at 1:00 p.m.

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