Anthony J. 'Tony' Rein, 89, died at 2:09am on April 11, 2022 at his home in Champaign.
There will be a visitation from 9:00-11:00am on April 20 at Owens Funeral Home (101 N. Elm St.) in Champaign. The funeral Mass will begin at 11:30 at Holy Cross Catholic Church (405 W. Clark St) in Champaign. In accordance with family wishes, he will be cremated after the Mass and his cremated remains will be buried in a private ceremony in the family plot in Mosinee, WI at a later date.
Tony was born in 1933 in Mosinee, Wisconsin to Wesley Rein and Anna (Mondrosch) Rein. He was raised on the family farm as the seventh of eight children. He had a challenging, but fulfilling upbringing. He humorously regaled his children with how he walked to school barefoot, uphill and backwards in the middle of Wisconsin’s winters. He and his siblings shared the same toothbrush for as long as his grandchildren can remember.
Tony was very successful from an early age, as evidenced from his active high school activities including senior class president, drama club, library club, forestry club, FFA, student council and Badger Boys State. He worked on the family farm, causing much mischief with his nephews and his younger brother. After high school, Tony enlisted in the Army where he distinguished himself as a marksman, paratrooper and Green Beret. He served for 20 years in the military, including the National Guard, retiring with the rank of Captain.
He was the first person in his family to graduate from college. Tony graduated in 1959 with a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. He had a successful career working both in the public and private sectors.
Tony married Mary Lynn Meyer in 1959, and were “blessed” with five rambunctious children, one right after the other. He was a faithful member of the Catholic Church. In 1978, he met the true love of his life, Geraldine 'Gerrie' Emrick. They wed in 1980 and for 41 years, they together proceeded to raise their blended family until his death. He is survived by his loving wife, Gerrie, and eight children, Mark (Cheryl) Rein, Jody (Tim Metzger) Rein, Betsy Belceto, Jane (Khaled Aly) Rein, Wendy (Robert Candelaria) Rein, Melissa (Bill) Storie, Kristine (Jason) Bennett and Shannon Cobb, and many grandchildren, especially granddaughter, Adeline Cobb, whom the neighbors remember being pushed through the neighborhood by grandpa. Also survived by his younger brother, Henry Rein.
He was preceded in death by 3 brothers and 3 sisters.
Anthony was known around the neighborhood as a renaissance man. He was a wizard at fixing anything. His many talents included; woodworking, furniture building and carpentry, wine making, gardening, sewing and he was also an avid bridge player. He loved to sit on the porch and visit with the neighbors, the Wisconsin Badgers and especially, his restored 1953 Ford tractor (the same one he used in his youth). He also liked to tell a good story, laugh hard, joke harder, and especially loved a good party.
Tony was an advocate of education by working patiently with his children and grandchildren while they did their homework. He also established the WesAnn Memorial Scholarship fund in honor of his parents, which helps young adults from his hometown of Mosinee, WI attend the University of Wisconsin – Madison.
Tony died comfortably in his sleep surrounded by family and loved ones and will be greatly missed.
Memorials can be made in his name to the following organizations:
WesAnn Memorial Scholarship Fund, UW Foundation, US Bank Lockbox Box 78236, Milwaukee, WI 53278
Cunningham Children’s Home – Champaign, IL
Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church – Champaign, IL
Holy Cross Catholic Church
403 West Clark, Champaign IL 61820
Cunningham Children's Home
1301 Cunningham Avenue, Urbana IL 61802