Melvyn J. Rinke, son of Joseph and Gertrude (Rausch) Rinke, was born April 20, 1933 on the family farm near Medicine Lodge, KS. He passed away Friday evening, June 22, 2012 in Harry Hynes Hospice at St. Francis Medical Center in Wichita at the age of 79.
Mel, as he was known to family and friends, joined the United States Navy in 1952 where he served 4 years of active duty defending his country during the Korean Conflict, followed by 4 years in the Navy Reserves where he was Honorably discharged in 1960.
On June 28, 1958 Mel was united in marriage with Colleen Potter at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Harper and this union was blessed with four children; Cindy, Tim, Lisa, and Julie. The family has made their home in Harper where Mel worked for People’s Natural Gas Co. until retiring and becoming a handyman for family and friends.
Mel was a member of the Harper St Patrick Catholic Church, Saint Joan of Arc Parish Community, where he often helped with maintenance of the buildings and grounds. He enjoyed carpentry, fishing, and particularly loved working with his son, Tim, in construction.
Mel was preceded in death by his parents: Joe and Gertrude Rinke: brothers; Alvin, Lewis, and Bob Rinke: Sisters; Lorraine Hanson and Delores Rinke: and niece; Rachelle Rinke.
He will be deeply missed by his wife Colleen with whom he would have celebrated his 54th wedding anniversary on the 28th of this month, and his son Tim Rinke, both of Harper; his daughters; Cindy Shiever and her husband Steve of Crescent, OK; Lisa Berscheidt and husband Kevin of Marlow, OK; and Julie Haselhorst and husband Dean of Hays, KS; nine grandchildren; three great grandchildren; two brothers, Vernon Rinke of Medicine Lodge, KS and Don Rinke of Kingman, KS; two sisters: Gloria Rinke of Harper and Gerry Farrell of Wichita, KS; along with other relatives and many friends.
Recitation of the Rosary was held at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, June 25, 2012. The Mass of Christian Burial followed at 10:30 a.m., both at the St. Patrick Catholic Church, Harper, of the St. Joan of Arc Parish Community with Father Michael Peltzer officiating. The lector was Dean Haselhorst. Mass servers were Colby LaCount and Adam Capps. Gift bearers were Jennifer Miller, Jené Kelly, Ashlynn Kelly, Patricia Salsbury, Brianna Haselhorst and Collin. Musical selections were “You Are My Special Angel” by Bobby Helms, “The Lord’s Prayer”, “Song Of Farewell”, and “The Dance” by Garth Brooks. Bob Tedder served as cantor with Kay Troyer as organist. Military graveside services were given by the U.S. Naval Honor Guard at the Harper Cemetery. Honorary casket bearers were Kim LaCount, Charlie Russell, Larry Oller, Robert Domnick, Lawrence Shauvlieger and Lawrence Kottas. Serving as casket bearers were his son, Tim Rinke and grandsons: Shawn Rinke, Tyler Yoder, Landon Yoder, Kolby Haselhorst and David Rinke.
Memorials may be given in memory of Melvyn to the Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice or to the St. Joan of Arc Parish Community and can be sent in care of the funeral home.
Prairie Rose Funeral Home, 613 W. 14th St. – Harper, KS 67058, was in charge of arrangements.