MADISON - Milton Reinke died peacefully at Agrace HospiceCare on July 29, 2013 at age 90, a mere blink of an eye in the 13.7 billion year old universe.
He was born on November 7, 1922 in Cincinnati, Ohio to Charles Albert and Betty Ann (Krauss) Reinke. Milt recognized his insignificance as merely one of seven billion that now occupy earth - a good ego equalizer.
During WWII, Milt was a pilot in a four engine B-24 bomber shot down over Germany and spent 1-½ years as a POW. After the war, he married his girlfriend from Kindergarten, Nancy Jane (Shedd) on December 18, 1945. They both graduated from the University of Michigan.
Milt worked 38 years for DNR in field supervisor and administrative positions throughout Wisconsin. He served as Director of State Parks and Recreation for three years and Chief State Forester for 14 years prior to his retirement in 1986. He loved his work, as so many others did during that era. He visited ten European countries to enhance his forestry knowledge and obtain new forestry ideas and methods, often leading group of woodland owners and foresters. None of his travels was ever on state expense or time. Milton received many awards including induction into the Wisconsin Forestry Hall of Fame and elected Fellow in the Society of American Foresters.
Milt is survived by his son, Dean (Kathy) Reinke and son-in-law Dan Walker; his grandchildren Amy (Andrew) Kelm, San Carlos, CA, Jennifer (Scot) Latek, Madison and Heather Reinke, Aurora, IL; great grandchildren Jackson and Ainsley Kelm and Sydney and Harrison Latek. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Nancy Jane Reinke and daughter, Nancy Susan Walker.
To protect friends against verbose pontification, there will be no visitation or services. A gathering is planned at Sagittarius, the Black Hole in the center of our galaxy. Turn right and go 27,000 light years. Don't text en route to avoid thousands of stars. Buy travel insurance. Hope you can make it! Steer clear of the 17 trillion stars in our Milky Way Galaxy. See ya!
Milt's family respected his wishes and printed his obituary in its entirety as he wrote it.
His family would like to thank Agrace HospiceCare, Oakwood and UW Hospital staff for his care in his final 13 days of life and allowing him to die with grace and dignity of which he was so adamant. Memorial contributions may be made to Agrace HospiceCare Fitchburg, WI in Milton Reinke's name.
Milt or Bumpa as so many family affectionately called him will remain in our hearts forever. Thank you for showing us the beauty of the trees, flowers and sharing your love of flying. We will uphold your family traditions most especially Sunday night dinners when you told so many stories from your life.
You will be missed! We love you, Dad & Bumpa!