Galen Frank Reinhart
Galen Frank Reinhart, affectionately known as “Reinie,” passed away on Dec. 11, 2020 at the home of his daughter Mary Berg of Marshfield, Wis. He was 86 years old. He was born in the Town of Browning on July 7, 1934 to Frank and Hazel (Rehbein) Reinhart and he graduated from Medford High School in 1952. He enlisted in the Wisconsin Army National Guard, attending Basic Training during his summer vacation between his junior and senior years. He would attend monthly training with the Guard, attaining the rank of platoon sergeant, E-7. The highlight of his military commitment occurred in Oct. 1961, when he was deployed to Fort Lewis, Wash., in support of the Berlin Crisis. Upon his return to Wisconsin, he was honorably discharged in December 1962.
After high school graduation, he started his career at Packaging Corporation of America in Colby, then known as Lewis Container. He was a charter member of the plant union and was promoted to foreman after five years as an hourly worker, becoming one of the youngest foremen in company history. He was later promoted to general foreman and held that position for six years before becoming production manager in 1973. During his tenure as production manager, the plant was awarded the coveted Production Efficiency Award. He held the position of production manager until his retirement in 1995. In 2018 he was honored to be a guest at the opening of the new PCA plant in Marshfield.
Reinie married Esther Jirschele on March 10, 1956 in Tomahawk. They settled in Colby after their marriage, building a house in 1959, which was a block away from the plant, allowing Reinie to walk to work every day until retirement. They had six children and lived in Colby until 1997, when they moved to Tomahawk, where they resided until 2018, when they moved to Marshfield to be closer to their family.
Reinie was a firm believer in being involved in the community, as he was a member of the Colby Fire Dept. and served as fire chief from 1971-73. He was also a member of the Lions Club and St. Mary’s Church in Colby and Tomahawk. He was a charter member of the Colby Trailblazers snowmobile club was honored to be named the first Citizen of the Year of Colby in 1973. He and his colleagues and friends worked to improve the quality of life in Colby by involvement in events such as Cheese Days and the Colby Centennial of 1973.
Reinie had a love of the outdoors, especially going deer hunting as his wife Esther was a hunting widow every November. He and a number of lifelong friends founded the Somo River Retreat hunting camp in rural Tomahawk, and he was also involved in starting the Somo Area ATV Club. He felt fortunate to travel to British Colombia and Montana to hunt moose and deer.
Reinie is survived by his wife Esther and their six children: Laurie (Gerald) Estrada of Kimberly, Wis., Susan (Ralph) Wrons of Albuquerque, N.M., Julie (Mark) Johnson of Marshfield, Tom (Catherine) of Colby, Tim of Stevens Point, and Mary (Bill) Berg of Marshfield. He is further survived by his grandchildren: Brendan (Beth) Donovan, Erin (Josh) Bellile, Leah, Evan and Joseph Wrons, Ben (Jessica) Johnson, Justin Reinhart, Kelly (Justin) Meyer, Kirsten (Jason) Hitchcock, Samuel (Becky) Reierson, Christian, Kyle, and Stephanie Berg, and ten great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents Frank and Hazel and his mother and father-in-law Joseph and Esther Jirschele.
Reinie was known for his sense of humor and generosity and enjoyed the company of his family and friends. The family would like to thank Ascension Hospice and Jen Neville of JENerosity for their compassionate care during Reinie’s last days. Due to concerns regarding the COVID-19 epidemic, a celebration of life will be held at a later date. Memorials can be made in his name to the Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation for cancer research.
Condolences may be sent online at www.rembsfh.com.