Obituary of Merlin Reinke
Sonny Reinke, age 86, of St. James passed away at his home on Thursday, February 11, 2021. A private memorial service for immediate family will be held at Sturm Funeral Home in St. James on Saturday, February 20, 2021 with Rev. Gene Alms officiating. Burial with military honors provided by the St. James Veterans Honor Guard will follow at Calvary Cemetery in St. James. A public gathering with lunch will follow at the Eagle’s Club from 11am to 1pm and the family will join everyone following burial. Starting at 1pm there will be a gathering for extended family. Covid guideline of face masks and social distancing will be followed. In lieu of flowers the family prefers memorial be made to the Mayo Clinic Hospice program, Madelia Home Health Care or East Sveadahl Lutheran Church. Merlin Arnold Reinke, best known as Sonny, was born February 10, 1935 in Pleasant Mound Township, Blue Earth County, MN, the son of Nina (Schmidt) and Arnold Reinke. Sonny grew up in the Willow Creek area, graduating from Buffalo Lake High School in 1953. He served in the Army from 1957 to 1959. He drove truck for Murphy Freight for 27 years, then worked for the City of St. James for another 12 years before his retirement. Sonny enjoyed playing fast pitch softball, fishing, camping, bowling and playing pool. He was a life member of the St. James American Legion, past president of the Eagle’s Club and past secretary of the District 6 of the Eagles. Sonny will be most remembered for his love of being in his workshop, regular card games with his friends at the band box, Memorial weekends at Norway Lake and his love for his family. Sonny is survived by his wife Marjorie Reinke of St. James, children; Yolanda (Steve) Moeller of Hiwasse, AR, Scott Reinke of St. James, Bernadine (Wayne) Jurgens of St. James, Jolene (Dan) Frankamp of Big Lake, Steve (Collin McGregor) Reinke of Richfield, 12 grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren and 1 great-great-grandchild, sister Paulette (Pete) Hagen of Spicer, brother-in-law and sisters-in-law; Emil Jacobson of St. Peter, Marilyn Haes of Mankato, and Laura Reinke of Benson. He is preceded in death by his daughter Catherine and her husband Brian Carter, son-in-law Brad Ewert, brothers; Dean and Mike, infant grandson Daniel Moeller, parents, his in-laws and numerous other relatives and friends.