Chandler, Arizona – Kenneth Fredrick Reinert, 86, died on his birthday November 24, 2021, at the wonderful, compassionate Prestige Group Home in Chandler, Arizona. He was born on November 24, 1935, on a 320-acre farm in Bucklin, Kansas, to Charlie “Chic” Reinert and Lorene (Winsor) Reinert. In his early youth, he participated in 4-H. He learned at the age of six how to milk cows, gather eggs and feed the livestock. When he was eight, the family moved to a farm in Bloom, KS and later attended Bloom High School. After high school, he attended Kansas State College (now University) in the fall of 1952 and then a year later transferred to Fort Hays Kansas State College (now University) in Hays, Kansas. He graduated with a degree in Botany and Agriculture in May of 1956. His first job after college was with the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation in Manhattan, Kansas where he covered six states as an underwriter. He was drafted into the Army in 1958 and most of his time there was spent in Germany. Upon his return, he got married and enrolled in graduate school to receive a Master of Science degree in Botany and Ecology from Fort Hays State College. He had two children – Michael in June of 1962 and Deanna in July of 1964. In 1968, he received another Master of Science degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Wyoming. He worked for the Bureau of Land Management as a land examiner in Pinedale, Wyoming. He retired from the Bureau of Land Management as the Division Chief of Planning and Environment for Arizona in 1982 at the age of 46. He then worked as an environmental consultant for 12 years. Ten of those years, he was under contract to AT&T obtaining the environmental permits from Federal and state agencies in the western United States for over 8,000 miles of buried fiber optic communication cable. He hired and supervised all the biologists, archaeologists that were completing environmental assessments, endangered species and archaeological clearances and recovery for the land. In 1995, he met the love of his life, Shirley L. Fulcher. He says in his book, A Western Kansas Farm, “You never know that you were unhappy until you get happy.” He was a very active member of his church, Unity of Sun Lakes, where he served intermittently as their board president over the past 19 years. He had a passion for the Desert Botanical Garden where he worked as a docent for the past 19 years taking third and fourth graders on two-hour tours as well as adults and volunteering with the butterfly pavilion.
He is survived by his wife, Shirley Fulcher; his two children — Michael Reinert (Kathleen) and Deanna Mielke (Todd); his sister JoAnn Davis and nephew Mark Davis; stepchildren Danny McCulloch (Deb), Colleen Howell (John), Aaron McCulloch; grandchildren Aaron (Tara), Matthew (Irena); step grandchildren Michelle (Alex), Chris (Natalie), Colby (Megan), Mac (Bri), Nick (Varity); great grandchildren Chloe, Max, Esther (on the way), Gracelyn; step great grandchildren Camille, Jeremiah, Wyatt, Mabel, Logan, Ellie.
He was preceded in death by his father Chic; mother Lorene; his beloved aunts whom he will be buried next to Aunt Mae, Pearl and Ted. A graveside service will be held 2:30 pm Friday, December 3, 2021 in Fairview Cemetery, 500 E. Pennsylvania Avenue, Greensburg, Kansas; and the memorial service, celebration of Kenny’s life, will be held at Palo Verde Country Club in Sun Lakes, Arizona at a future date. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts to the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, AZ are appreciated, or in care of Fleener Funeral Home, PO Box 41, Greensburg, KS 67054.