CAPT. Peter James Riester, USN, (Ret.)

December 29, 2021

Captain, United States Navy (Ret) 1958 – 2021

Pete Riester passed away on December 17, 2021 in Valley Lee, Maryland after a long battle with Multiple Sclerosis.  He was born September 1, 1958 in Norfolk, Virginia to John (Jack) and Jane Riester.  Pete was raised in Rochester, New York as the third of seven children (three brothers and three sisters).

Pete spent one year at the Naval Academy Preparatory School in Newport, Rhode Island before accepting an appointment to the United States Naval Academy, Class of 1981, 23rd Company.  While at the Academy he lettered in lacrosse, sat on the honor court, earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering and most importantly, met his future wife, Nancy Novak from Alexandria, Virginia. They were married August 14, 1982 at the “Old Chapel” on Ft. Meyer, Virginia.

Following Graduation, Pete went to Pensacola, Florida for flight training and then to Corpus Christie, Texas for multi-engine training where he earned his Wings of Gold in November 1982. His first duty station was in Barber’s Point, Hawaii in Patrol Squadron Seventeen (VP-17) “The White Lightning” where he flew the P-3C Orion and completed two deployments.  After his tour in Hawaii, Pete received orders to VP-30 in Jacksonville, FL where he served as an instructor pilot.  Then the Navy decided that Pete needed some “sea” time.  He served onboard the Nuclear Aircraft Carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) as a “Shooter” in Norfolk, Virginia where he completed another Deployment at the beginning of “Operation Desert Storm”.  During his time on the “Mighty Ike”, Pete applied to laterally transfer to the Aeronautical Engineering Duty Officer community, and was sent to beautiful Monterey, California where he earned his Master’s Degree in Aeronautical Engineering. From Monterey, Pete was sent to Commander Air Forces Atlantic (CNAL) back in Norfolk, Virginia.  Upon completion of another successful tour of duty, Pete joined the Commander Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) team, where he screened to become Commanding Officer of Naval Air Traffic Management Systems Program Office (PMA-213).  Pete successfully completed his Command Tour, and decided to retire from Active Duty after 26 years of dedicated service to his nation.

Pete was an active member and volunteer at his church, a member of the Knights of Columbus, various charities, and a beloved coach of youth and high school sports.

Considering all Pete’s accomplishments, he took the most pride in his faith and devotion to family and friends.  Pete was happiest when surrounded by his wife Nancy of over 39 years, children and young grandchildren.  His exemplary example will live on through his family, relatives and friends.

Pete was preceded in death by his father, Jack USNA 54, and brother, Andrew.  He is survived by his wife, Nancy; two sons, Peter J. Jr. USNA 07 (Erin) and Benjamin J. (Chikako); five grandchildren, Annabelle, Mariette, Edward, Charlotte and Felicity; two brothers, John E. Jr. (Denise), and Matthew (Lynn); three sisters, Betsey Lisenbee (Donald), Sara Dillon (Mark), and Martha Marino (Marc).

Family will receive friends on December 28, 2021 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., with Prayers recited by Reverend Paul Nguyen at 7:00 p.m. at Brinsfield Funeral Home, 22955 Hollywood Road, Leonardtown, Maryland. A funeral Mass will be held on December 29, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. at St. George’s Catholic Church, 19199 St. George’s Church Road in Valley Lee, Maryland.  Service details are contained in the following link Brinsfield Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, Pete’s family is requesting donations to the following charities: National Multiple Sclerosis Society 1800M Street NW, Suite B50 North, Washington, D.C. 20036; Medical Missionaries of Mary and Three Oaks Center 46905 Lei Dr., Lexington Park, MD 20653. Links to those charities can be found here.

Condolences may be made at

Arrangements by the Brinsfield Funeral Home, P.A.