ELMER RIEGERT was born in Camden to Victor V. and Gertrude Riegert. His father had come to America as a small boy in the mid-1870s from France, most likely from the Alsace-Lorraine region. Victor V. Riegert was a paint maker by trade. The family lived at 1047 Haddon Avenue when the 1910 Census was taken. They had moved to Lemuel Avenue in East Camden by the time the Census was taken in 1910, not far from where the General Color paint factory existed for many years, just north of the railroad tracks that ran from Camden towards Merchantville. The family had moved to 401 North 41st Street by 1920.

Elmer G. Riegert attended Camden High School. By January of 1920 he had began an apprenticeship as an undertaker. By 1930 he was working with Lemuel D. Horner, whose funeral home was at 3523 Westfield Avenue in East Camden. Elmer Riegert resided on premises. He married in December of 1932, and with wife Myrtle, maintained residence at the Westfield Avenue address.

Sadly, Elmer Riegert was fatally injured on August 13, 1933 when he dove off of a wharf into only four feet of water in the Rancocas Creek at Ewansville. 

Camden Courier-Post - August 14, 1933

Diver Breaks Neck, Fisherman Drowned
Camden Man, Pulled From 4 Feet of Water, Dies Soon After in Hospital


Plunging into shallow water in Rancocas creek at Ewansville near Mt. Holly yesterday, Elmer Riegert, 31, Camden undertaker, suffered a broken neck and died 20 minutes later in the Burlington County Hospital. Another water tragedy occurred Saturday in Oaklyn,

Harry P. Jensen, 78, of 217 East Haddon Avenue, Oaklyn, was drowned Saturday in Newton Lake when he fell into water as a fishing line he was casting caught in his sweater. He was fishing from a trestle.

Riegert, who lived at 3523 Westfield Avenue in Camden, was visiting with his wife, Myrtle, at the home of Harry B. Krier, formerly of Camden. Also visiting Krier was Commissioner Harold W. Bennett, Camden's director of revenue and finance.

Dives From Wharf

The group had just finished eating when Riegert and his wife went bathing. Riegert dived from a wharf into four feet of water but did not return to the Surface. Bennett and others, alarmed, attracted the attention of two youths who were bathing. Richard Fenimore, 16, and his brother, Ralph, 17, of 530 Delaware Avenue, Riverside. Together they brought Riegert from the bottom and up to the wharf where he was pulled ashore by Bennett and others.

Using resuscitation methods, William Overfelt, also of Riverside, succeeded in arousing Riegert to consciousness. Riegert told them he "thought" he had a broken neck. Commissioner Bennett drove him to the hospital, arriving there ten minutes after Riegert had dived into the water.

Coroner Russell M. Stoddard issued a certificate of death.

Riegert was married nine months ago and had lived at the Camden address for 16 years where he was associated in the undertaking business with Lemuel D. Horner.

He attended Camden High School.

He is survived by his father, Victor; three brothers, Frank, Charles, and Harvey, and two sisters, Blanche, and Mrs. Gertrude Platt, all of Camden.

Hooked to Line

Jensen had been in the habit, Mrs. Jensen said, of going fishing in Newton Lake every morning.

Walter Sibeli, of 1255 Lansdowne Avenue, Camden, who was fishing from a boat shortly before noon, Saturday, saw a fishing rod floating in the lake and sought to retrieve it. When he pulled it in the boat he found that the hook was attached to the dead man's clothing.

Jensen's body was pulled from the water by Policemen Chambers, Ralph Barclay and William Leonard, of Oaklyn.

Coroner Arthur Holl was called. Reconstructing the mishap, Holl issued a certificate of accidental death. He said Jensen lost his balance while unsnarling the fish hook.

Jensen, a retired cabinet maker, made his home with his son-in-law, Samuel Bundesman..