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Obituary for Merlin H. Reinke


Merlin H. Reinke, 92, of Eitzen, Minn., passed away Friday, February 28, 2020, at Gundersen Tweeten Care Center, Spring Grove, Minn. He was born May 14, 1927, on the family farm in Union City Township, Iowa, to Henry and Irma (Kruse) Reinke. On August 19, 1953, he married Esther Gade at St. John’s U.C.C. in Wheatland. They lived the first five years of their marriage in New Albin, Iowa where Merlin hauled canned milk and farmed with his father. In 1959, they purchased the Reinke homestead from August and Laura Reinke where he and Esther made their home and farmed until 1997 when they moved to Eitzen, Minn. In addition to farming, Merlin hauled milk, livestock, and logs. For the last four years of his life, Merlin along with Esther, shared a room at Gundersen Tweeten Care Center in Spring Grove. Merlin enjoyed fishing, bowling, having a friendly card game, and relaxing with a cold beer. He also enjoyed taking drives around to look at the crops and cattle. He was a member of the Farm Bureau and St. John’s United Church of Christ in Wheatland. Survivors include his wife, Esther; his children, Dick and Cathy Reinke, Kathy Bulman, Debbie and John Hoeger, Dean Reinke, John and Val Reinke, Ann and Scott Kurk, Jim and Rhonda Reinke, and Steve and Wanda Reinke; grandchildren, Beth (Matt) Morey, Craig (Kristie) Reinke, Vanessa Davis, Spencer (Kristin) Davis, Rachael Hoeger, Kara (Mike) Brett, Jacklyn (Matt) Peterson, Kaitlin (Trent) Johnson, Leanne (Eric) Maas, Cassie (Noah) Daley, Jose Reinke, Kelsey Schuttemeier, Micah and Jonah Reinke, Ellissa Kurk, Amy (Eric) Halverson, Tayler (Matt) Schwartzhoff, Caden and Jase Reinke, and Zach and Ryan Reinke; great-grandchildren, Mackenzie and Maya Morey, Christian and Colton Reinke, Annesta Johnson, Orion Medlock, Leo Davis, Selma and Luke Brett, Nora, Eva, and Halle Peterson, Peyton, Peige, and Preslie Daley, Tyla, Hadley and Kyan Halverson, and Brenner and Hawkin Schwartzhoff; brother, Robert (Sandi) Reinke; sister, Neva Swenson, sister-in-law, Arlene Gade; and many nephews and nieces. Merlin was preceded in death by his parents; Art Swenson, Paul Gade, and Ruth and Kenneth Pearce. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m., Tuesday, March 3, 2020, at St. John’s United Church of Christ, Wheatland, rural New Albin. Pastor Paul Burgess will officiate. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. A visitation will be from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. Monday at the New Albin Community Center, New Albin, Iowa, and from 10 a.m. until the time of service Tuesday at the church. Online condolences may be offered at www.jandtfredrickson.com. Jandt-Fredrickson Funeral Homes and Crematory, Caledonia, is assisting the family during their time of need.