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Willard F. Rinker


Willard F. Rinker, 86, passed away following a brave battle with A.L.S. (Lou Gehrig's Disease), early Thursday morning, August 11, 2016, at Coulee Medical Center, in Grand Coulee, Washington. Born, April 18, 1930, into the Del Rio, Washington, home of Wesley and Garnet Taylor-Rinker, Willard remained a lifelong resident of Douglas County. Following graduation from high school, he began his adult life as a rancher and farmer on his family's homestead. Saturday, June 18, 1949, Willard wed his wife, Miss Sharon Wiese, in St. Benedict's Catholic Church of Coulee Dam. An active member of his community, Willard was a firefighter with Douglas County Fire District 3; belonged to the Washington State Grange, 828 Del Rio in Mansfield; and active with the Grand Coulee Ridge Riders Club; along with numerous other clubs and associations.

Willard loved spending time on horseback, moving cows and checking fences. If he was not in the field working, he enjoyed going to rodeos, especially for the bull riding. One of Willard's biggest joys was working with the pit crew for his good buddy "Walt Ayling" the driver of the orange stock car #55. He also loved shooting the breeze with family and friends with a cold Rainier beer. If you had the pleasure, you might remember hearing "Let's have just one more." At the end of the day, Willard's greatest joy and priority was always family. Willard loved nothing more than spending time with his children and grandchildren.

Predeceased by both of his parents, Wesley and Garnet Rinker of Del Rio, and a sister, Thelma Pendell Thurston; Willard's legacy lives on through his beloved bride of 67 years, Sharon Rinker; children: Larry D. Rinker (Karen), Randy W. Rinker (Tina) and Valerie K. Oliver (Jon); niece, Nicole Pendell Rauch; along with many grand- and great-grandchildren.

A celebration of Willard's life will take place at 1 p.m., on Saturday, August 20, 2016, at the Strate Funeral Home of Grand Coulee. Cremation has taken place at his request.

In lieu of flowers, the family would like donations to be made in memory of Willard Rinker to the local ALS Association - Evergreen Chapter @ or mail a check to ALS Evergreen Chapter, 19226 66th Avenue South, Suite L105, Kent, WA 98032, or to the charity of one's choice.

Please sign Willard's online register book at Strate Funeral Home of Grand Coulee, is honored to be serving his family.

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