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Obituaries » Vernon J. Reinert

Vernon J. Reinert

July 19, 1932 - December 7, 2021

Service Date: December 11, 2021

Funeral Home Memorial Services of Iowa

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Vernon J. Reinert, 89, passed away on December 7, 2021, at his home he shared with his wife of 63 years, LaVonne (Vonnie).

Visitation will be held from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. on Friday, December 10, 2021, at Memorial Services of Iowa (4208 N. Ankeny Blvd., Ankeny) with a rosary at 7:00 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, December 11, 2021, at All Saints Catholic Church (650 NE 52nd Ave., Des Moines). Graveside service will be held at 12:00 p.m. on Monday, December 13, 2021, at Marcus Cemetery in Marcus, IA.

Vern was born on July 19, 1932, on the Reinert Family Homestead in Cherokee County to Veronica (Cook) and Andrew Reinert as were all of his ten siblings. Yes! 1-0 siblings: Rose, Lorraine, LeRoy, Cyril, Clarence, Edward, Laurence, Rita, Hilda, and Carrie.

Vern and LaVonne met in an accounting class at the University of South Dakota. LaVonne was the only woman in the class. They married on November 8, 1958, in Custer, South Dakota on a crisp, Fall day. Nine months later, Joel, their eldest son, was born. Within the next nine years they were blessed with six more children: Johnette, Kolleen, Karl, Mary Sue, V. J., and Kirk.

Vern attended Maryhill Catholic School, a one-room schoolhouse in Cherokee County. He liked to tell the story of how he held boiled eggs in his pockets to keep his hands warm as he made the trip “both ways, uphill, in a snowstorm!!”

Vern had many hobbies of which he was passionate including: fishing, overseeing the refurbishing of a John Deere tractor which had been owned by one of his brothers, golfing, and coaching his children in softball and baseball. He was so enthusiastic about baseball that he owned and shared with his kids and players not one, but two baseball pitching machines. One of the pitching machines threw only fastballs while the other threw curveballs. For over fifteen years, you could find him at Garfield Park in Davenport, Iowa during the summer hitting ground balls and pop-flies and pitching (before he acquired the pitching machines) to any member of his family or team that wanted extra practice. Not only was Vern a coach in Little League for all four of his boys, he also was the equipment manager. He would spend winters repairing the baseball equipment before distributing the equipment in the Spring at the start of the next new baseball season.

Vern was quite an athlete, himself. He was the catcher on his school and community baseball team, and the center on their basketball team while also coaching the team simultaneously. Vern wanted to share his passion of basketball with his children as well. One summer, with the help of one of his brothers, Cyril, he turned the backyard of their family home in Davenport, Iowa into a full-court basketball court on top of a newly-built cinderblock cement flat-top garage that was big enough that it could have housed eight Volkwagon Bugs.

Vern was also an avid bridge player, gardener, camper, member of the American Legion, and a Knight in the Knights of Columbus. Vern was an Internal Revenue Agent with the federal government for 30 years.

He truly enjoyed meeting up over the Fourth of July with siblings and relatives for corn on the cob and watermelon among other summer staples, and to reminisce about their operational, 450-acre farm. The farm included a large red barn, corn cribs, a hen house, a smoke house, a blacksmith shop, and don’t forget the outhouse!

Vern is survived by his wife of 63 years, LaVonne (Miller) of Ankeny; sister, Carrie Reinert of Spencer, IA; children, Joel Reinert of Collinsville, IL, Johnette Sigwarth of Chatham, IL, Kolleen Miller of Scottville, IL, Karl Reinert of Dubuque, IA, Mary Sue (Greg) Kulpins of Brookfield, WI, V. J. (LeeAnn) Reinert of Springfield, IL, and Kirk (Michelle) Reinert of Pleasant Hill, IA; 14 grandchildren, Andy Reinert, Alex (Staci) Reinert, Karl (Erika) Sigwarth, Mallory (Lance) Hoffman, Molly Miller, Timothy Miller, Danielle Kulpins, Kristina Kulpins, Drew Fendrich, Joe Reinert, Ben Reinert, Ellen Reinert, Grant Reinert, and Katelin Reinert; six great-grandchildren, Jamie Reinert, AJ Sigwarth, Ben, Sam, Max, and Natalie Hoffman.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to the MindSpring Mental Health Alliance, an independent local organization providing mental health education, support, and advocacy. Donations may be made at 511 E. 6th, Suite B, Des Moines, IA 50309.

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