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On April 10, 2017, Vaino John Riismandel, Retired Administrative Law Judge passed away in Ellicott City MD. Born in Rakvere, Estonia in 1920. He married Elli Sild in Kudina Township, Tarumaa County, Estonia in 1942. Beloved son of the late Euphrosyne-Karoline (Drell) and the late Jaan Riismandel.


Father of John (Jaan) Norman Riismandel and wife, Linda Beers and Jack (Jaak) Bengt Riismandel and wife, Kathleen Mary Gillespie; grandfather of Paul Bengt and wife, Ellen Kudson, Kyle John, Kristen Eileen (Oxendine) and husband, Daniel, Michael Bernard and wife, Kathleen M. Cservek and Timothy John; great-grandfather of Elli Marie Oxendine, Hank Daniel Oxendine, Jake Andrew Oxendine, Emma Riis Oxendine, Andrew Michael, and Cooper Vaino. Preceded in death by great-grandson, Andrew John and his sisters, Leida Maimu and Heljo. In 1955, he became a U.S. citizen. His education included University of Tartu in Estonia, Law School (cum laude) January 1942, Master of Law September 1943, Northwestern University in Illinois, Graduate Degree in Political Science June 1952, George Washington Law School in Washington DC, Master of Comparative Law February 1956, and Master of Laws June 1958. A Member of District of Columbia Bar, August 1956, US District Court for DC, October 1956, US Court of Appeals, November 1956, and US Supreme Court, June 1958. Lived in Viljandi, and Tallinn Estonia, Tartu Estonia, Augsburg Germany, Plano Illinois, Washington DC, Takoma Park Maryland, Cavite Philippines, Takoma Park Maryland, and University Park Maryland. Employed at Federal Huber Company in Plano IL, Library of Congress in Washington DC, United States Department of the Navy, Cavite Philippines, United States Navy Washington DC, United States Department of Defense, and Board of Contract Appeals Falls Church, VA. Retired from Federal Service after 42 years as the Vice-Chairman of the DOD Board of Contract Appeals. Vaino and Elli moved to University Park, MD shortly before retiring. They became well known in the neighborhood for growing flowers and having a beautiful yard. He decorated his  house with lights during the holidays and won several decorating contests over the years. Vaino spent considerable time researching and documenting his and Elli’s family histories. He shared this information with his children, grandchildren and great-grand-children in a series of “Roots Letters.” The Roots Letter numbered 39 at the time of his death. The entire family in the US and Estonia were always looking forward to the next volume. His research in the Riismandel Family went back to the 1700’s in Estonia. He spent considerable time attending all family events, birthdays, sporting events and numerous social gatherings. With the passing of Elli in December, 2014, Vaino spent time with his grandson, Michael and daughter in law, Kathleen (Kathy). They became his companions and errand runners. After suffering a fall in November 2016, he was hospitalized at Georgetown University due to  kidney failure and blockage in his bile duct. After six weeks, he was released to Ellicott City ealthcare and Rehab Center. He had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at Georgetown. He was doing daily therapy and making progress to return to his home until March of 2017, when contracted a severe case of pneumonia. This was a serious setback and very difficult to overcome. He had worked hard at his therapy and found one therapist to speak Russian with during his stay. He had become loved and admired for his positive attitude and never give up spirit. Before passing peacefully on April 10, he had been instructing his son, Jack on various projects to be completed at his house anticipating his return. Vaino was very much loved by his family and friends and will always be remembered as a man who  was positive and never letting little things get in his way. He lived a rich full life that most people can only dream of, leaving his home country with two suitcases and a pregnant wife to journey across Germany in the middle of a war and becoming a US citizen who rose from a factory worker to well-known and respected contract lawyer across the world of Defense Department Contracting As the Vice Chair of the DOD Board, he was the Judge in deciding millions of dollars in contract disputes across the country. Frequently traveling to hear the cases presented by the parties involved.


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