Mass of Christian Burial took place at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, July 11 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Sauk Rapids for Martin “Marty” A. Reker, age 55, who passed away July 4 at the St. Cloud Hospital. The Rev. Ralph Zimmerman presided and burial will be at Assumption Cemetery in St. Cloud at a later date. Visitation was from 4-8 p.m. Wednesday and one hour prior to services Thursday both at Sacred Heart Church. Parish prayers began at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. Arrangements have been entrusted to Williams Dingmann Family Funeral Home of Sauk Rapids.
Marty was born Jan. 7, 1964, in St. Cloud to Frederick “Fred” and Rita (Bechtold) Reker. On July 3, 1982, he married the love of his life, Karen (Erpelding), at the age of 18. Marty was a practical individual gifted with a natural productive drive, a willingness to take risks, and exceptional financial finesse. At the age of 23, Marty established Reker Construction Inc. with his uncle Butch Bechtold. Together they built over 1,000 homes. They also built, owned, and operated Grandview Apartments in Sartell. As accomplished in his career as he was, Marty’s true pride was his family. He was an extraordinarily supportive, encouraging, and devoted husband, father, uncle, and grandfather. As a businessman and friend to many, Marty was both humble and respectful to everyone he encountered.
Marty and Karen have lived in the city of Rice for the past 26 years in three separate homes along the Mississippi River that Marty designed and constructed himself. Marty was a devout member of Sacred Heart Church and his Catholic faith provided the foundation on which he structured his life. He was a member of the Central Minnesota Builders Association, Sauk Rapids Knights of Columbus Council 11346, and was involved in numerous charitable institutions and endeavors. He was a passionate bicyclist and took great pleasure in boating, hunting, fishing, traveling and playing card games. Marty was ambitious, eternally optimistic and wise. He was an excellent listener, yet also a leader whom many turned to for advice. Marty was quick-witted, remarkably generous, welcoming and had a great sense of humor. He was exceptionally attentive, caring and helpful to those he loved. He was an all-around people-person and simply loved life.
Marty spent a significant amount of one-on-one time with each of his children. A few fond memories include playing Monopoly with his son Chad, fishing with his daughter Katrina, and taking his daughter Caitlin on long motorcycle rides as a young child. Chad also has special memories of table tennis tournaments and flying out to Illinois together to purchase his first sports car. Katrina is particularly grateful for Marty’s spontaneous visits to spend time with her and his grandchildren. Caitlin enjoyed going out to eat with her father and playing many games of cribbage.
Survivors include his wife, Karen of Rice; children, Chad Reker of Eden Prairie, Katrina (Daniel) Bogart of Sartell, and Caitlin Reker of Rice; mother, Rita of St. Cloud; siblings, Betsy (Jim) Westerhoff of Cold Spring, Matthew Reker of St. Cloud, and Leah (Dave) Wunderlich of Owatonna; grandsons, Joseph, Jacob, and baby on the way, Samuel Bogart; and nieces, nephews, godchildren, and many other family members. Marty was preceded in death by his father, Fred; sisters, Mary and Susanne Reker; and father and mother-in-law, Paul and Janet Erpelding.
The family would like to thank the nurses on Medical 1 Unit 5th floor at the St. Cloud Hospital who cared for Marty before his passing.
Memorials are preferred to Place of Hope and Elevate Pregnancy and Family Resource Center (formerly Birthline).Obituary, guestbook, and video tribute available online: www.williamsdingmann.com. R-28-1B