Cover photo for Kenneth E. Rieke's Obituary
Kenneth E. Rieke Profile Photo

Kenneth E. Rieke

July 16, 1926 — June 11, 2024

Julian

Kenneth E. Rieke

Emblem

   Kenneth Rieke was born on a farm near Chester, Nebraska, to Elizabeth (Childs) and Harry Rieke on July 16, 1926. Growing up, Kenny enjoyed riding bikes, ice skating and cribbage.

   During the Great Depression, Kenny’s family had difficulty making a living on the land they farmed. This prompted them to move to Nemaha, Nebraska, where Kenny’s dad rented farmland. 

   Kenny attended McCandless Elementary School and graduated in 1944 from Nemaha High School. After graduation, he was drafted to serve in the U.S. Army during World War II. He completed basic training in Texas before being loaded on a transport ship carrying troops to the first invasion of Japan. Midway there, the atomic bomb was dropped, and the ship was routed to the Philippines instead. For over a year, Kenny served in the medical corps on Luzon and Leyte Islands, Philippines, where he gave shots, drove an ambulance and sutured wounds. 

   After his service ended, he returned to Nebraska, took agricultural courses and farmed. He raised soybeans, corn and wheat. He also milked Holsteins and raised Black Angus and Charolais cattle.

   An afternoon meeting in Auburn, Nebraska, and a subsequent date to a basketball game led to a 71.5-year marriage to the love of his life, Dorothy (Wilberger) Rieke. 

   Kenny demonstrated his faith with acts of service, serving as deacon, elder and Sunday school treasurer at Auburn Christian Church. He was always ready to lend a helping hand and no new acquaintance was a stranger. On his bedside table, he kept a plaque reminding him that God is greater than any problem. 

   In retirement, Kenny and Dorothy enjoyed travel to Branson and visiting various Midwestern towns where Kenny took photos for Dorothy’s articles. He was an avid UNL Women's Volleyball fan.

   Kenny joined our Lord in Heaven on June 11, 2024. He is preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy, his parents, Elizabeth and Harry Rieke and his sister Gladys (Lucille) Hansen. Survivors include daughter Cindy Rieke, sister Muriel Docker, niece Betty Hansen and nephews Allan and Bruce Hansen and their families. 

   Funeral services will be held Tuesday, June 18, 2024, 11:00 a.m. at Auburn Christian Church in Auburn.  Burial will be at 1:30 p.m. in Wyuka Cemetery at Nebraska City with Graveside Military Honors provided by American Legion Post #23 of Auburn and Nebraska Army National Guard Honor Guard.  Visitation will be on Monday from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. with family greeting friends from 5:00 to 6:00.  

    Memorials are suggested to Auburn Christian Church.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Kenneth E. Rieke, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visitation

Monday, June 17, 2024

9:00am - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Hemmingsen Funeral Home

801 S St, Auburn, NE 68305

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

Family Greeting Friends

Monday, June 17, 2024

5:00 - 6:00 pm (Central time)

Hemmingsen Funeral Home

801 S St, Auburn, NE 68305

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

Funeral Service

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Auburn Christian Church

1100 15th St, Auburn, NE 68305

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

Guestbook

Visits: 818

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree