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The Reinke Family
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Life Story / Obituary
Through the life she lived each day, Mandy Reinke was a blessing to all who were near whether her family and friends, the students who adored her, or those within her larger community. She was one of the most kind and gracious people around, and she always had a word of encouragement for everyone she met. Mandy was deeply devoted to her family, and there was nothing that she loved more than living life alongside the ones she loved. With faith as her constant companion, she exemplified what it means to be a woman after God’s own heart. Deeply loved, Mandy will never be forgotten.
The 1980s were an exciting time in American history. It was the decade that witnessed the birth of the VCR, the camcorder, and gaming systems that forever changed the way we entertained ourselves. Shows like Growing Pains, The Cosby Show, and Head of the Class became part of our evening routine, and Madonna and Michael Jackson dominated the music scene. It was just as this decade was dawning that Dick and Debra (Coryell) Kraima were eagerly awaiting the birth of their baby as October unfolded in the city of Plainwell, Michigan. The big day finally arrived when the baby girl they named Mandy drew her first breath on October 13, 1980, in nearby Kalamazoo. She was the older of two children as she was raised alongside her sister, Veronica. The Kraima family lived in Plainwell during Mandy’s earliest years, and they later moved to Martin.
In many ways Mandy experienced a childhood that was typical for the youth of her generation. Her father worked as a field scheduler for Lakeshore Glass and Metal while her mother worked as a transportation supervisor for Martin Public Schools. Even as a young girl Mandy was outgoing and extremely friendly. She was very close to her family, which was an important part of her life as an adult as well, and a stranger was never a stranger for long. Mandy made friends with ease and was close to everyone. She attended local schools including Martin High School where she played volleyball and softball, ran track, and played in the band. After graduating from high school in 1998, Mandy went on to earn her associate’s degree (HVAC) from Kalamazoo Valley Community College.
New and exciting changes were in store for Mandy when she met the young man of her dreams. His name was Bob Reinke, and they met through some mutual friends in 1997 while in high school. They started out as friends, but love soon blossomed and the rest is history as they say. After dating for about five years, Mandy and Bob were married on May 18, 2002, at Otsego Methodist Church, eager to begin a new life together. Interestingly, Mandy didn’t belong to that parish, but she had always dreamed of getting married in a church with a steeple and stained glass windows, so it was the perfect church for her. They lived on the family land, which is 40 acres, in Martin, with her parents and sister living nearby on the same land. Together Mandy and Bob welcomed two children, Cameron and Elizabeth, into their hearts and home. She spent seven years working as a bus driver, but there was never anything that was as important to Mandy as being a mom was. She always loved dogs, and between her family and her sister’s family there were six dogs around.
All who knew Mandy would agree that she was truly extraordinary. She made it seem effortless to work so hard, and she never backed down from anything - even if it was hard. Mandy had a way with children as it was easy for them to sense that she loved kids, and they loved her as well. Her job as a bus driver was such a perfect fit for this reason, and when she quit all the kids still said, “Hi Miss Mandy” whenever they saw her. There were plenty of hugs as well. Mandy always had words of encouragement for others, and her voice was so soothing. She was able to talk people through anything, and her words were something that people never forgot. Mandy could even rip people apart in such a soft voice that they didn’t even realize that it happened! Christ was a big part of her life, and she often quoted scripture. No matter what happened, Mandy could always recall a related verse. She never really had a favorite verse as she said, “How can you pick a favorite when there are so many wonderfuls?” Mandy had the most beautiful smile and it was so easy to make her laugh.
Throughout her life Mandy was a woman of many interests. She loved reading first and foremost, and she was eager to share her love of reading with her kids. Mandy loved cooking, and her skills in the kitchen were fantastic. She was an expert at creating her own recipes, and she was able to make something out of random ingredients that family members brought over. Mandy was especially known for her pork chops, and she also baked her own bread from scratch. An expert seamstress, Mandy was into sewing and crafting, and she absolutely loved posting things on Pinterest to share with others. She loved the outdoors and used to hunt and shoot with Bob, and she also tried her hand at woodworking. Her love for the outdoors made their trip to the Smokey Mountains in Tennessee among her favorites as there was plenty of nature, hiking, and isolated family time without others around. Black bears were Mandy’s favorite animal, and she had black bears in every room of the house. She was a wealth of knowledge when it came to plants and how they can be useful for so many different things.
There was no one who met Mandy Reinke and left unchanged whether it was because of her warm smile, her genuine concern for others, or her gracious spirit. She was passionate when it came to the things she believed in, and she didn’t shy away from speaking her mind - in a kind way. Mandy loved her family without end, and her compassion for others was easy to see. Her strength and courage were so inspiring as she faced whatever came her way without burdening others. Life will never be the same without Mandy here, but her memory will be forever cherished.
Mandy Reinke, of Plainwell, passed away on September 9, 2016. Mandy’s family includes her husband of 14 years, Bob; her children Cameron and Elizabeth; parents Dick and Deb; sister: Veronica; and many nieces and nephews. Visit with her family and friends and view her life story film on Wednesday, September 14, 2016, from 12-1 p.m. at the Orangeville Baptist Church, followed by a memorial service. Please visit Mandy’s memory page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can archive a memory or photo and sign her memory book online. Those who wish may make memorial donations to her family.