Richard George Reinders, Sr., 82, of Sullivan passed away on November 8th after a peaceful evening surrounded by family and friends. He was born on August 30, 1937 in Elm Grove, WI, attended St. Mary’s Visitation grade school and later graduated from Pius XI High School. Richard began his studies in engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and completed them at the General Motors Institute in Flint, MI. He was a volunteer firefighter at the Elm Grove Fire Department and served in the U.S. Army.
Along with his brother, Robert, Richard led the 150 year old family business, Reinders Corporation, into the largest green industry wholesale distribution business in the region. He served as Executive Vice President until his retirement and continued to serve on the company’s board.
In 1987, Richard and his oldest son, Rick, founded Watertronics, a worldwide, leading manufacturer of water pumping stations. He held a US patent for the product and was recently awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Irrigation Association.
Richard enjoyed local politics and served as a Trustee of both the Village of Elm Grove and the Town of Concord. There was nothing he couldn't do in the area of mechanics. He was an avid car guy and his love for both his 1958 Corvette and the Corvair are legendary, as were his drag races through the streets of Elm Grove. Richard was an active member of the Milwaukee Corvair Club and the GMC Motorhome Club. He also loved to fly his Cessna and was a lifetime member of the Experimental Aircraft Association.
Richard is preceded in death by his parents, Roland and Marie (Brahm) Reinders, his sister, Doris (Art) Haley, and his former wife and mother of his children, Jacqueline Reinders.
He is survived by his children: Laurie Reinders of Elm Grove, Wisconsin; Richard (Anne) Reinders Jr. of Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin; Craig (Karen) Reinders of Hartland, Wisconsin; Shelly (Jon) Peters of Hope, New Jersey; and Joel (Mary) Reinders of Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin; grandchildren: Melissa, Katie, Cole, Jack, Sam, Richard, Charlie, Lucy, and Vivienne; great-grandchildren: Luca and Stella; siblings: Robert Reinders and Mary Ann (Dick) Minorik; long-time companion, Dore Strobel and her two children, Klaus and Susanne Buchberger; and his beloved animals that comforted him: Buddy and Heidi.
The family would like to send their heartfelt thanks to Richard's caregivers Linda Pinnt, Jordan Geiger, and Lynn Kramer, as well as his personal assistant, Tammy Miles. The family also extends their gratitude to Drs. Frankfurt and Atallah for their work and care in helping Richard live a longer, more comfortable life.
Visitation will be held on Wednesday, November 13th from 9:00 am to 10:45am at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 1260 Church Street, Elm Grove with a Eulogy at 10:45 and Mass at 11:00 am.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Center. Please select “Cancer Center” from the Gift Designation drop down menu. https://mcwsupport.mcw.edu/makeagift?_ga=2.141707504.350577302.1573280545-1567992699.1539352077
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Medical College of Wisconsin - Cancer Center
8701 Watertown Plank Road, Milwaukee WI 53226