Gerald “Jerry” J. Reinke, age 79 of Beaver Dam, passed away peacefully surrounded by family at home on Saturday, January 30, 2021.
Jerry was born on February 19, 1941 in Beaver Dam, the son of Alvin and Adele (Kapelle) Reinke. A lifelong Beaver Dam resident, Jerry only moved away for a short time in the early 1960’s while he served in the US Army National Guard. Most of Jerry’s friends at Mercury Marine in Fond du Lac, where he worked for 37 years, only knew him as “Bear”. After being a “confirmed” bachelor for many years, he was united in marriage to Marilea (Hughes) on May 30, 1987 in Beaver Dam and adapted to married life and his new family extremely well. Jerry carried out his role as a father to five children extremely well, but he truly shined as a grandfather and great-grandfather.
Jerry was an avid sports fan and enjoyed the Brewers, Badgers and Packers. In his earlier years, he attended many games, but as he grew older enjoyed watching games from his own box seat (recliner). Through the years, Jerry had been known for his talents as one of the old Beaver Dam umpires, many remembered him for many calls, some good ones and some that they remembered as not being so good. After retiring from umpiring, he found his true gift in coaching baseball with the Beaver Dam Athletic Club. Right up until his last days he would reminisce about the boys he coached and his love for each and every one of them, how proud he was of them and how much pride he felt when they acknowledged him in return.
Jerry was an active member of First Ev. Lutheran Church in Beaver Dam, where he served as an usher, was a youth mentor and served on numerous other committees, including the Personnel Committee, Call Committee, Thrivent, Youth Committee and SCRIP sales. Jerry had an extensive baseball and sports card collection. He also enjoyed playing golf and was a member of Beaver Dam Country Club for several years. Socializing and spending time with family and friends brought Jerry much joy, especially during the family trips to Lido Beach.
Jerry is survived by his wife of over 33 years, Marilea Reinke of Beaver Dam; children, Lisa Butterbrodt (Joe) of Beaver Dam, Lori Norenberg (Dick) of Spring Green, Scott (Shanen) Sadowski of Appleton, Steven (Kristine) Sadowski of Mayville, and Brian (Alison) Sadowski of Beaver Dam; grandchildren, Mindy Stilen, Megan (Justin) Josephs, Mark Butterbrodt, Felicia (Ryan) Andersen, Cody, Cassidy, Parker, Emma and Taylor Sadowski; several great-grandchildren; brothers-in-law, Leonard Roedl, Phil Hanson, Steve (Patrice) Hughes, John (Mary) Hughes; sisters-in-law, Janelle Anderson and Gail Reinke; and further survived by numerous special nieces and nephews, other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; in-laws, Hilary (Helen) Hughes; sister, Audrey Roedl; brother, Bill Reinke; sisters-in-law, Melinda Hanson and Lynette (Jim) Zieske; son-in-law, Gene Norenberg; daughter-in-law, Ann Sadowski; grandson-in-law, Jake Stilen; nephew, Bradley Hughes and granddaughter, Alysa Sadowski.
Visitation for Jerry will be held on Sunday, February 7 at Cornerstone Funeral & Cremation Services, 135 Keller Blvd., Beaver Dam from 12:00 p.m. (noon) until the time of the funeral service at 2:00 p.m. with Rev. Jim Wendt officiating. Burial will take place at St. Peter’s Catholic Cemetery, Beaver Dam.
If desired, memorials in Jerry’s name may be directed to First Ev. Lutheran Church – Help Fund, 311 W. Mackie St., Beaver Dam or American Legion Post 146, 300 Beichl Ave, Beaver Dam.
The family would like to express a special thank you to: Dr. M. Lucarelli, Dr. P. Agarwal, Waupun Christian Home and Prairie Ridge Hospital in Columbus (Radiology & 4th Floor) for the outstanding care they provided Jerry in the last several months.
Cornerstone Funeral & Cremation Services in Beaver Dam is honored to be serving the family. You may send private online condolences or sign the family’s guest book at www.cstonefs.com.