Donald J. Reinhardt, 83, of Russell, Kansas, passed away Friday, October 9, 2020 at the Hutchinson Regional Hospital in Hutchinson, Kansas.
Don was born May 16, 1937 in Hays, Kansas. He was one of two children born to Arnold and LaVerne (Shaver) Reinhardt. He grew up in rural Russell County and attended Mt. Brokaw country school. He was a 1955 graduate of Russell High School.
Donald then served his country in the U.S. Army from 1956 to 1958, serving as a helicopter crew chief at Fort Sam Houston Army Base in San Antonio, Texas and Fort George G. Meade in Maryland. After his service, he returned to the rural Russell area.
He was united in marriage to Bonnie Eichman in 1957. This union was blessed with four children; Steve, Stan, Aimee, and Scott. Later in life, he married Mary Ernst on February 14, 1990.
Don was a very proud farmer and rancher. He farmed in the Big Creek township with his father until 1963 when he and his family moved to the Shaver farm near Bunker Hill, Kansas. He was a member of the Bunker Hill United Methodist Church and the Bunker Hill Lions Club. Don enjoyed hunting especially turkey, fishing, camping with Mary in their camper, tending his cattle, and flying his Piper J3 Cub.
He loved traveling with family and friends, and spending winters in Zapata, Texas with Mary. His family was his greatest joy in life. His kids and grandkids enjoyed and vividly remember numerous adventures with him. As he said all the time, “And, I’m responsible for every one of ‘em.”
Donald Jay’s surviving family include his wife of 30 years, Mary, of the home; daughter, Aimee Gfeller (Ron) of Russell, Kansas; three sons, Steve Reinhardt (Raeleen) of Russell, Kansas, Stan Reinhardt (Penny) of Russell, Kansas, and Scott Reinhardt (Marcie) of Carthage, Missouri; sister, Sandra Shea (Jim) of Colwich, Kansas; twelve grandchildren, 17 great grandchildren; four step-children, ten step-grandchildren; a niece and a nephew. He was preceded in death by his parents.
A memorial service will be held at a later date. The family has chosen cremation. Memorials have been established with the Bunker Hill Lions Club and Bunker Hill United Methodist Church. Contributions and condolences may be sent to Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary, who is in charge of these arrangements.