Charles “Chuck” Alton Rienks, 78, left his earthly home to be with the Lord Monday, April 29, 2013, after a valiant short fight with cancer.
Chuck was born to Richard and Blanche (Holderbaum) Rienks Jan. 27, 1935, in South Bend, Ind.
He was the fourth of seven children in addition to three of Chuck’s aunts and uncles his parents raised as siblings. Chuck would tell stories of having to cut a half gallon of ice cream 10 ways to share on his birthday.
He attended South Bend Central High School where he played all-state football. After his parents bought a farm outside of Niles, Mich., he played all-state football at Edwardsburg High School and excelled in academics and athletics but unfortunately blew out his knee during a game his senior year.
Chuck joined the Navy serving on the USS Bashaw submarine based in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. He was fond of the memory of sitting off the coast of Russia submerged for 20 days and learning the game of cribbage. After four years of service, he returned to study at Michigan State University.
Chuck married Elizabeth Ann Schwinkendorf in 1961. To this union were born three children; Melanie Kay, Douglas Charles and Charlene Annette.
He moved his family to Nebraska and began Rienks Electric serving as an electrician for the local rural area.
He met Betty Ann Leggett in Ord and they were married in 1976.
After moving a few times throughout their life together, they settled close back to Chuck’s home on Juno Lake in Edwardsburg, Mich.
Chuck and Betty retired to North Loup, Nebr. to be closer to his children and grandchildren. After Betty passed away, Chuck reunited with his high school sweetheart and moved to Florida to be with her. Chuck married Ann Marie Padbury Harp March 14, 2009.
Chuck and Ann enjoyed their time together visiting family, traveling and dining out. Chuck was a lover of good food and good company. They shared their love of the Lord at Lake Gibson United Methodist Church. Chuck also honored his service by being a member of the North Loup American Legion Post and Dixie Land Lions Club.
Chuck was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Richard Rienks; two sisters, Joan Gearhart, and Helen Gibson; as well as a Richard’s wife, Janet and Helen’s husband, Bob and his wife Betty.
He is survived by his wife, Ann Padbury Harp Rienks of Lakeland, Fla.; his children, Melanie (and Lloyd “Bump”) Olson of Broken Bow; Doug (and Linda Rienks) of Lincoln; and Charlene Smith of Albin, Wyo.; stepson, Shawn Leggett of Kearney; stepdaughters, Laura Abernathy of Ft. Myers, Fla., and Lisa and (Paul) Schifferer of Elgin, Ill.; brothers, Mike (and Mary) Rienks of Mishawaka, Ind., David (and Debra) Rienks of Chandler, Ariz., and one sister Kathy (and Philip) Wilson of North Webster, Ind.; six grandchildren, Norman Rienks of Laramie, Wyo., Derik, Paige and Arin Smith of Albin, Wyo., and Alexis and Nicholas Rienks of Lincoln; aunt, Dorothy Grafton of Kearney; uncle, Jack (and Beverly) Rienks of Englewood, Fla., numerous nieces and nephews, cousins, and friends.
Chuck always smiled at the saying “save your fork because the best is yet to come.” And he wasn’t just speaking about potlucks.
The world lost a big man with an even bigger heart who loved the unknown, the big dream, a good game of cribbage, good food and conversation, but most of all his family.
A memorial service will be Friday, May 3, 2013, at 11 a.m. at Lake Gibson United Methodist Church, 421 Platt St., Lake Gibson with a reception to follow. A memorial service will be held in North Loup at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made in Chuck’s name to Lake Gibson United Methodist Church, Good Shepard Hospice of Lakeland, 105 Arneson Ave, Auburndale, FL 33823 and the American Legion Post 285 in North Loup.
Condolences may sent to the family at www.heathfuneralchapel.com 
Published in Custer County Chief, May 2, 2013