William J. Reinka Jr.

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MONTPELIER - William Joseph Reinka Jr., 92, of Heaton Woods, Montpelier, died on Feb. 26, 2013, at Central Vermont Medical Center, Berlin, Vt.

Born in Trenton, Mich., on Oct. 27, 1920, to William Joseph and Lillian Thomas Reinka, Bill graduated from Theodore Roosevelt High School in Wyandotte, Mich., in 1938. He later earned degrees in business and marketing from the Detroit Institute of Technology and Wayne State University, Detroit. An expert in industrial commodities distribution, he was a member of the American Society of Traffic and Transportation, the Traffic League of Detroit and Chicago, and also an Interstate Commerce Commission practitioner. He retired in 1987 from International Minerals and Chemical Corp.

Prior to his military service during World War II, Bill played baseball in the Ohio League, part of the Cleveland Indians organization. He married his high school sweetheart, Irene Richards, on Christmas Day 1941, at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Wyandotte, Mich. The following year, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps, completed Officer Candidate School and trained as a pilot. Bill flew 44 missions as a B-24 pilot in the Pacific theater during the war.

During his life, Bill devoted many years of service to the communities in which he lived, including several years as a hospice volunteer in Libertyville, Ill., where he was also an active member of St. Lawrence Episcopal Church. At the time of his death, he was a member of Christ Church Episcopal in Montpelier, where he relocated in 2006.

Reinka is survived by his wife, Irene; daughter Rilla Murray, of Montpelier; daughter Denise Johnson and son-in-law Thomas Wies, of Middlesex; daughter-in-law Louise Rogers Reinka, of Eugene, Ore.; and five grandchildren, Erin Strother Murray, Oliver Hale Wies, Lillian Thomas Wies, William J. Reinka III and Mora Ann Reinka.

He was predeceased by his son, William Eric Reinka, and brother Floyd D. Reinka.

Plans for a service of remembrance will be announced at a later date. Donations in honor of Bill's life may be made to the Vermont Foodbank, 33 Parker Road, Barre, VT 05641 (www.vtfoodbank.org).

Those wishing to express online condolences may do so at www.guareandsons.com.
Published in Times Argus on Mar. 1, 2013
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