Herb Reimers of St Joseph passed away on Jan. 4, 2020, at the age of 96 in St. Joseph, Mich. Herb was a man that many people loved.
Born on Nov. 13, 1923, in Benton Harbor, he grew up on his family’s farm. After graduating from Benton Harbor High School in 1942, he was inducted into the US Army. For four years, he was a “buck sergeant” and tank commander for the Cannon Company 40th Infantry Division 160th Infantry Regiment in the Pacific Theater of WWII. He spent 235 days in frontline combat. Fighting in Guadalcanal and the Solomon Islands. Herb received numerous awards including the bronze star, coincidentally on the very day that FDR died. It was important to Herb to educate people on the historical significance of WWII. His war stories were shared with many, young and old.
After returning from the war, he met Irene “Curly” Hintz, the love of his life. They were married in 1947 and enjoyed 67 years together. They began their careers owning a drive in and grocery store in Benton Heights on Territorial Road. Eight years later, Herb and Curly received their real estate licenses and developed 40 parcels of land in Southwest Michigan, including the subdivision where he lived for 64 years.
During that time, they had three children. For 35 years, they spent summer vacations in Sister Lakes and wintered in Englewood, Fla., for 45 years.
Family and church were very important to them. Herb was the last surviving charter member of Grace Lutheran Church in St. Joseph. He served on almost every board and rarely missed a Sunday service, sitting on the right side, in the pew five rows from the front.
His YMCA family gave him support and enjoyment. He always said that his Y membership was the best health insurance plan, inspiring many members to stay physically fit. Herb was incredibly athletic his entire life, beginning as a Golden Gloves Boxing champ and playing racquetball and handball at the Y until he was 95. He enjoyed playing softball for the Grace Lutheran team, where he was the pitcher and pitched his last game at the age of 70. An avid water skier, replaced knees couldn’t slow him down, skiing until age 80.
Good health allowed Herb to enjoy his cabin in Iron River, Mich., going deer hunting until the age of 92. White Lake in Canada was his favorite Walleye fishing spot. He also enjoyed moose and bear hunting.
He is survived by his three children, Susan (Tom) Kehr, Sandy Reimers, and Randy (Monika) Reimers; ten grandchildren, Brett, Tammi, Rob, Brooke, Bryan, Nikole, Greg, Daniel, David, Elizabeth, Justin and Zach; and 14 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Curly, his brother, Herm, and sister, Elizabeth.
2 Timothy 4:7; "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."
Visitation will be held on Wednesday Jan. 8, from 4 to 6 p.m. at Starks & Menchinger Chapel 2650 Niles Road, St. Joseph, MI 49085. A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020, at Grace Lutheran Church, 404 E. Glenlord Road, St. Joseph.
Donations can be made to Grace Lutheran Church or Lest We Forget. Those wishing to leave an online condolence may do so at www.starks-menchinger.com.