Cover photo for Max Reinke's Obituary
Max Reinke Profile Photo
1950 Max 2024

Max Reinke

September 12, 1950 — May 30, 2024

Max Reinke, 73, of Fargo, ND, formerly of Wahpeton, ND, passed away on Thursday, May 30, 2024, in Sanford Medical Center.  His memorial service will be on Tuesday, June 18, 2024, at 11:00 am, with visitation 2 hours before the service at Evergreen United Methodist Church in Wahpeton.  Rev. Kori Lehrkamp will officiate the service. Burial will be in Fairview Cemetery, Wahpeton.  Arrangements have been entrusted to Vertin-Munson Funeral Home.

Story of Max our loving husband and father. Max L. Reinke, our angel on earth went home to the Lord, on Thursday, May 30, 2024, at Sanford Hospital in Fargo, ND. 


Max was born in Hettinger, ND on September 12, 1950 to Gordon O. Reinke and Elaine (Wiedenhofer) Reinke. He graduated from Hettinger High School and attended the North Dakota State School of Science (NDSSS) in Wahpeton, ND. Max started in the auto mechanics department and then changed to Liberal Arts at NDSSS. While at NDSSS he played football, basketball, and ran hurdles in track. Max formed many lifelong friends during this time. He transferred to Dickinson State College to complete his Bachelor of Science degree in Education and physical education where he was active in football, track, Theta Chi fraternity, and Dickinson Staters. While at Dickinson State College he met his future wife, Doreen Yellow Wolf. They were united marriage at Bismarck McCabe United Methodist Church on December 27, 1972. 


After college Max started his education and coaching career in the Jefferson School District, South Dakota in McCook Lake. After a couple of years, he moved into higher education at the North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton as an instructor and coach. Max was one of the assistant football coaches for NDSCS for many years, coached women’s basketball, and was the director of the summer basketball and volleyball camps for 39 years. He was the director, scheduler, promoter, personnel manager, finance officer, bus driver, and overall organizer of the camps. He enjoyed the students and could remember their town/school or their names.


Max was interested in how programs could be improved by being involved in numerous college committees. He was an instructor and coach for 42 and served twice as chair of the Math and Science department. Max was the secretary /treasurer of the Alumni Letterwinners Club for 15 years and a member of the Catbackers. He believed in being a part of the community by participating on the Cancer fundraiser Relay for Life committee, softball umpire, and coaching on all levels including his son’s baseball and basketball teams. As a Wahpeton Park Board member, he contributed to decisions necessary for construction projects, including Red River development, walk trails, arboretum, recreation sports court surface, maintenance equipment, Kidder Recreation area development, flood recovery projects, Airport Park playground &/ball fields, Hughes Shelter, flood protective levee, Chahinkapa Park roads, skateboard half-pipe, tennis courts and several zoo projects. He served on the Personnel/ Finance and Recreation committees. 


Max was honored by the NDSCS Alumni/Foundation with the Wildcat award and Tradition award, honored four times by the NDSCS Athletic Hall of Fame, and Faculty Emeritus at the commencement ceremony in May 2012. Max was also known as “Mr. Wildcat”. 


Max enjoyed our camping family vacations to the Black Hills of South Dakota, Mackinac Island, Michigan, Door County, Wisconsin, other mini-vacations, visits to Arizona to see the grandkids, and taking us to Hawaii and the Netherlands to see Hunter play basketball. He liked being in North Dakota but was always happy to make a trip if we wanted to go somewhere. 


Growing up in southwest ND Max enjoyed hunting with his father and brothers. They hunted pheasants, grouse, ducks, coyotes, and deer. Later, Doreen would hunt along with them on trips to the Killdeer Mountains and Golden Valley County. He liked to tell the hunting stories with and wished to take his sons hunting someday. 


Max will be remembered as a loving, caring, champion, caretaker, understanding husband, my best friend, father, brother, and grandfather. His love for his two boys and grandchildren brought him so much joy and was proud of their accomplishments. Max cut back on coaching to watch his sons play basketball and football. Later, he enjoyed attending his grandchildren’s basketball, and volleyball games, cross country, and track meets. Max attended as many NDSCS football, basketball, and volleyball games as he could while in Wahpeton. He also enjoyed the Wednesday morning coffee group in Wahpeton. 


Max is remembered by many as a friend, mentor, listener, supporter, advocate, and teacher, he thoroughly enjoyed all the interactions with past classmates, co-workers, coaches, and all the students in the classes as well as camp attendees. 


Max was given the Native American name of “Whistling Elk” by his mother-in-law, Margaret Starr. The elk represents protector, strength, endurance, patience, caring, and provides guidance. All of which Max demonstrated in his life. 


He survived three cancer surgeries and fought through the radiation treatments. Our family was blessed to have 24 years with him after the first diagnosis of cancer. 


Max is survived by his loving wife of 52 years, Doreen, son, Hunter, wife Jennifer, grandchildren, Colton, Sierra, and Ridge, Fargo, and son, Ty, Aberdeen, SD. Brothers, Bernnett and wife, Nancy, MA; Roderick and wife, Vickie, TX. Nephews, Scott and wife, Angela; Travis and wife Julie, and grandnieces/nephew Lexi, Payton, and Logan. Brother-in-law Thomas Yellow Wolf, many relatives, and adopted brother Don Yellow Bird. 


He is preceded in death by his parents, grandparents, his mother-in-law, Margaret Starr, and his aunts and uncles.


Our family is so appreciative of all the prayers and stories shared with us during this time. There are stories we never knew about since he hadn’t shared with us but now know how he made a difference to others. 


Obituary written by Max’s family.


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Service Schedule

Today's Services


Tuesday, June 18, 2024

9:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

Evergreen United Methodist Church

1120 Evergreen Ct, Wahpeton, ND 58075

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Memorial Service

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

Evergreen United Methodist Church

1120 Evergreen Ct, Wahpeton, ND 58075

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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