Oshkosh - Michelle Eileen Reinke died of cancer in her home in Oshkosh, WI, on the morning of Tuesday, July 20th, 2021. Michelle is survived by her sister and brother-in-law Sandra and Eric Venden and their children Michaela, Phoebe, and Corban Venden; as well as by her cat Chance, and her close friends Rosemary Amico, Carrie Ferguson, and Jill Kozy. Michelle was preceded in death by her mother Diane (nee Nelson) Reinke, father Stanley Reinke, grandmother Helen Nelson, grandfather Armin Reinke and grandma Florence Dahl, as well as her cats Mittens, Cuddles, and Beaner.
Michelle was born in Oshkosh, WI, on December 4th, 1974. She graduated from Oshkosh North High School in 1993, and attended UW-Oshkosh for a short time with the intent to become a teacher specializing in teaching children with disabilities. She worked at the Respite House from 1997-2005 where she cared for disabled adults and children. After becoming too disabled by fibromyalgia and other health issues to continue working and schooling herself, she continued to spend her free time tutoring adults with disabilities, as well as adults learning ESL.
Michelle enjoyed crafting, reading, writing poetry, talking with friends and family, and listening to Christian music. Michelle's faith was a big part of her life, and she was always conscious that her choices in life reflected her faith and her values. She had a passion for helping others and especially felt that God had put it in her heart to help people with disabilities. Michelle loved her family, her friends, and her cats. She especially loved being an aunt to her nieces and nephew. Michelle was always able to see the best in others, and in so doing, often brought the best out of the people around her. If you met Michelle even once, you likely heard all about her cat. Her love of all animals was abundant, but she had a special place in her heart for cats.
Michelle had retinoblastoma as a baby, was initially diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017, went into remission in 2018, and had a reoccurrence in 2020. Michelle and her family would like to thank Candy Brawn, Judy Ferguson, and Jim Stadler for their help these past few years - getting her to appointments and giving her so much support. They would also like to thank Dr. Heraly and all of the doctors, nurses, and staff at the Michael D. Wachtel Cancer Center at Ascension Mercy for all of their care over the years.
A visitation will be from 12:00 p.m. until the time of the funeral service at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, July 26, 2021 at PLYMOUTH CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH, 1325 Georgia St., Oshkosh. Donations in Michelle's name may be made to the American Cancer Society
or the American Foundation for the Blind.
Published by Oshkosh Northwestern from Jul. 21 to Jul. 23, 2021.