Obituary for Dr. Mark K. Reinke
Dr. Mark K. Reinke passed away peacefully Christmas Day, December 25, 2013 at the age of 57 with his family by his side, following his courageous fight with pancreatic cancer. He fought his cancer with such grace, humor and dignity; setting an example for all the lives he has touched. He was a strong Christian, decorated Air Force pilot, respected surgeon, loving husband, and caring, proud father of five.
Mark obtained undergraduate degrees from the University of North Dakota and Arizona State. He also was a former pilot and commander in the Air Force. He met Kathy, his wife, while both served as EMT’s at FM Ambulance in 1979. They were married in Fargo, ND in September of 1986. Mark then went on to receive his medical degree in 1992 from Rush Medical School in Chicago.
Mark joined NEW ENT, in Green Bay as a partner in 1997 where he distinguished himself as an ear, nose and throat surgeon with an additional specialty in sleep medicine. He had many hobbies and passions. He alone is leaving a legacy of over 800 different hostas species in the yard. He was a voracious reader, instilling this skill in all his children. He was an avid marathon runner, loved downhill skiing, playing the banjo, journaling, fishing with his father and brother-in-laws, spending time with his family on vacations, and having family reunions every year at GOD (Good Ole' Days), a resort in northern Minnesota. He could always be found sporting his Hawaiian shirts during all of these activities, embarrassing his children, which he was known to often do.
Mark held multiple leadership positions in the local and state medical communities. He most recently served as Medical Staff President of Bellin Health and also served on the Bellin Board of Directors. He was past President of the WI Society of Otolaryngology. He additionally served in various leaderships roles at Ascension Lutheran Church.
Mark retired immediately from his medical practice upon learning of his diagnosis in December 2012. During his last year Mark embarked on a bucket list of adventures. The most rewarding adventure was being able to form closer relationships with a number of friends. He often shared with all of them, "it is not about the length of your life but about the depth of your life". It was his strong-will to live, unwavering faith, love of our Heavenly Father, and prayers from family friends that carried him through these last 13 months of treatments and endless doctor visits.
Mark was a dedicated husband; father, brother, friend and physician. He will be sadly missed by his wife, Kathy, their daughters Rhiannon, Robin, Rebecca, Rochelle, his son Ryan and his dog, Vogue. He is also survived by his father, Gary Reinke of Fargo, ND and step-mother Myrna, sister Dr. Karen and brother -in-law Don Garnaas, Sioux Falls, SD, father and mother -in-law Russell and Loretta Abel, Fargo, ND and sisters-in-law Susan Reinke Walsh, Rochester, MN, Patricia Abel Campbell, Minneapolis, MN, Brenda Abel Francis, Edina, MN, Stephanie Abel Bares, Des Moines, IA and brother -in-law Ken (Mary Jo) Abel and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his mother, Lorraine Reinke and brother Troy Reinke, maternal grandparents, August and Esther Kuehl and paternal grandparents, John and Mathilda “Tillie” Reinke.
The family is deeply grateful for the outpouring of love, prayers and support from countless individuals. This includes our Ascension family, his many colleagues, the Bellin Health Family, his physician care team, the Bellin Cancer Center, and the staff of Unity Hospice.
A visitation for family, friends and colleagues is scheduled at Ascension Lutheran Church, 2911 Libal St, Green Bay, WI from 4:00 – 8:00pm, Friday, January 3rd. The service and Celebration of Mark’s life will commence at 10:30am at Ascension Lutheran Church on Saturday, January 4th with a visitation preceding the service from 9:30am - 10:15am. Pastors Luther and Lori Swenson will be officiating. On-line condolences may be posted at www.cotterfuneralhome.com or at Mark Reinke’s Caring Bridge site www.caringbridge.org/visit/markreinke. In lieu of floral arrangements, memorial funds have been established for Pancreatic Cancer Action Network or Ascension Lutheran Church, Green Bay, WI.