Robert Merle Rinke, 85 Fargo, died Saturday, October 10, 2015, surrounded by family. He was born in Kragnes, MN on February 1, 1930 to Clarence and Annie (Wilson) Rinke. He attended Kragnes elementary school and graduated high school in 1950 from Moorhead State Campus High School. On May 8, 1951, Robert married Lois Elaine Mitchell in Fargo, ND where they raised five daughters. While in high school, he joined the naval reserve and his unit was activated in 1952 during the Korean Conflict. He served on the USS Lewis until his ship was struck by torpedoes killing several men. He worked at Northern State Power for over twenty years and, when the local plant was closed, he started his own business. He installed swimming pools and invented many swimming pool products, primarily steps and ramps. He owned multiple patents. He was very social and often engaged total strangers in conversation. Robert dreamed big dreams and was always waiting “for the big one.” He never quit. Robert was very proud of his children and grandchildren and celebrated their accomplishments. He is survived by four daughters: Robbie ( Bruce) Quick, Fargo; Barbara (Charles) Gordon, Bozeman, MT; Judy Timm, Colorado Springs, CO; Diane (Charles) Gill, Rosemount, MN; three sisters: Darlene Young, Fargo, ND; Mavis Haaland, Lakeville, MN, and Shirley (Ervin) Merkel, Great Falls, MT; and twelve grandchildren: Robert, Mitchell, and Anna (Trey) Scheetz, Christine (Tyler) Rasmussen, David and Erica Gordon, Anthony and Anna Gregorich, Derrick and Kendra Timm, and Tyler and Michael Gill. He is preceded in death by his wife of fifty nine years, Lois; daughter Debra Gregorich; son-in-law Greg Timm; two brothers: Alvern and Roger Rinke, and three sisters: Joann Rinke, Lois Heller, and Jeanette Newton. Memorials preferred to Fargo VFW and Concordia Lutheran Church/Cemetery Association.

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  1. Dear Diane, Chuck and family,

    I am so sorry for your loss of your Dad! He was truly a special man. Always had a twinkle in his eye and as you said very talkative with everyone! A man of many ideas, thoughts and inventions – some took, some did not but he kept on going! He is now living the “Dream” with your Mom and other family in Heaven!!

    Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you at this time. Sincerely, Renee & Greg Johnson

  2. Rest in peace, Bob. I will miss you and your contagious smile and demeanor.
    Your friend and business partner,

  3. Our sincere condolences to the family of Bob Rinke. He was really was one of a kind, and we will miss him. Bonnie and Dave Johnson

  4. Uncle Bob was always one of my closest friends and greatest supporters. He had the heart of a poet and the mind of a theologian, whether we were discussing if animals had souls or were baling hay out on the farm. He was a visionary, but also a practical man, once saving Cousin Terry from serious injury after battery dust had blown into his eyes, and Uncle Bob calmly doused them with our drinking water. Funny, caring, wise, and always kind, he was never satisfied, but constantly wondering “what if.” He did, indeed, dream “big dreams.” But, even if not all of them materialized, his eternal hopefulness is how his legacy lives on in all of us.

  5. Diane & Chuck

    So sorry for your loss. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. This is a time to celebrate his life and think of all the great memories.

  6. To the family of Bob
    I am so sorry to hear of Bob’s passing. he has been a friend for 40 some years. he put in my swimming pool and has helped me ever since. Bruce Quick was also there helping. I am sorry i won’t be there for service as I am gone for a few months. You have my deepest sympathy. I was glad to call him friend.

  7. I have fond memories of the conversations I had with “Bob” when I worked for my Aunt Ardyce at her lunch bar back in the summer of 1973. His intellect and sincere interest in other people’s “lot in life” were so apparent. He was a person that I wanted to emulate. I am sorry for your loss.

  8. I was visiting Hope Lutheran Church today and your father was in the service commemorating saints. This is the first I had known about his passing. I apologize for not acknowledging sooner. His last words to me were, “I remember you. You were always so close to your mother.” It made me feel so good when I am now losing my mother to alzheimers and she is not recognizing me. You’re mom and dad will always be remembered because of their friendly nature and smiles. They will be missed by many.

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