Kenneth Lawrence Reinesch was born on January 22, 1947 to Albert and Margaret (Kindred) Reinesch in Plankinton, SD. He farmed with his family on the family farm in White Lake until 1966, when he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. Ken served two combat tours in Vietnam and was wounded in action on June 6, 1967. Ken was honorably discharged from the United States Marine Corps in 1971. He married Constance Moeller on October 2, 1971 in White Lake. From this marriage, his two children, Jodi (Ruden) and Joel were born in 1973 and 1976, respectively. He worked for the Chamberlain Police Department starting in 1971 until he was hired as a patrol officer with the Mitchell Police Department in Mitchell, SD. Ken was a Detective with the Mitchell Police Department for many years and was named the Law Enforcement Officer of the Year in 1979. Ken worked for the Mitchell Police Department from 1972 until 1988. Also in 1988, he married Sue Murley. He ran his own private investigation business and was a certified polygrapher. He then worked for Davison County from 1989 until his retirement in 2002. Never one to sit around the house, Ken then managed the Mitchell American Legion Post 18 shortly after his retirement and then went to work for Lifequest in 2005 and remained there until the time of his death. On December 31, 1999, Ken was married to Sherri Hildebrand.
Ken was a life-time member of Post 18 and the Mitchell chapters of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and Disabled American Veterans and the Military Order of the Purple Heart. He held nearly every executive position with Post 18, including Commander. He was honored with numerous Veteran of the Year awards and was named the District 6 Legionnaire of the Year in 2007. He was a past Chef De Gare of the Post 18 40/8. Ken also was a member of the Knights of Columbus and the Corn Palace Detachment of the Marine Corps League.
Ken was fiercely proud of his service in Vietnam, the title of Marine and his unwavering patriotism. He devoted thousands of hours in service to his fellow veterans and also to the community of Mitchell. Ken was instrumental is raising the funds for the first DAV van in Mitchell to be used for the transport of disabled veterans to and from their doctor’s appointments. He also was very active for many of years in the Mitchell Exchange Club where he gained a number of lifelong friends through that association. He held, until his final breath, the most special kind of love for his fellow Marines whom he served with in Vietnam, especially all of the men of 3rd Platoon, Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 26th Marines, many of which he reunited with recently in Mitchell. Semper Fi, brothers.
Ken loved his work in the woodshop at Lifequest and tremendously enjoyed working alongside the clients there. In his final years, he relished most his title of grandfather and loved his four grandchildren immensely.
Ken is survived by his wife, Sherri and his two children, daughter, Jodi (Corey Elward) and son, Joel (Liza) Reinesch, all of Mitchell and his four grandchildren, Shawn Ruden, Blake Ruden, Coy Reinesch and Emma Reinesch. The youngest of the family, he is survived by his three loving sisters, Betty (Dick) Vant Hul of Sioux Falls, Mary (LeRoy) Persson of Mitchell and Leanne (Don) Bradwisch of Loomis. Ken also is survived by his mother-in-law, Doris Hildebrand, Mitchell, brother-in-law, Craig (Amy) Hildebrand of Mitchell, sister-in-law, Deb (Tim) Havrevold of Minneapolis, MN, and sister-in-law, Gladys Reinesch, Mitchell and 20 nieces and nephews. Ken also leaves behind his loyal companion, Peanut, with whom he spent countless hours side-by-side. Ken is preceded in death by his parents, grandparents, Christ and Susan Reinesch and Napoleon and Elsie Kindred, one brother, James, and father-in-law, Duane Hildebrand.