Rhinold (Rhinie) Robert Malzhan, age 95 went to his heavenly home on Sunday, December 6, 2020, joining his beloved wife, Shirley, to live out eternity with their Lord and Savior. Rhinie was born in Green Lake, WI on April 18, 1925, son to Laura (Klimke) and Fred Malzhan Sr. He was one of 13 children and he loved his siblings very much, staying connected and close to them throughout his life.
As a young man, Rhinie was a very hard-working farmer and livestock truck driver when he met the love of his life, Shirley Oakes. Their first encounter was in the winter when Rhinie and some of his brothers were stuck in the snow with a truck and as they were having fun trying to shovel themselves out, Shirley and her friends drove by them to ask if they needed help. Then one fine summer day in Ripon, WI, Rhinie stopped to get an ice cream cone on a corner shop when Shirley walked by Rhinie's livestock truck mentioning to him that it was quite a noisy bunch of animals in his truck as he told her he thought she was a very pretty girl and would like to get to know her. They saw each other again at a birthday celebration for a mutual friend and from that point on they started dating on a regular basis until they married October 8, 1947.
Rhinie worked as a foreman for Rockwell International when he decided to go back into farming while also attending school for the plumbing and heating trades. He eventually started his own plumbing and heating business in Omro, WI that kept him so busy he had to let go of the farming. Rhinie and Shirley worked very hard together as a team to run a successful business. Shirley did all of the bookkeeping for the business. Rhinie was proud to be a plumber/HVAC installer and to help out many people at all hours if service was needed. He was especially sympathetic to the local farmers who depended on their cows having water, etc.
He and Shirley had four children, Bonnie Beck (Tim) residing in Florida and Lisa, Brett (Rene') and Robin "Rob"(Nancy) Malzhan residing in Wisconsin. They have many grandchildren- Kim (David) Blair (Texas), Holly (Joe) Troiber (Florida), Lindsey Zimmer (California), Christy (Scott) Collin, Brady Malzhan, Justin Harrington, Mitch Malzhan and Alyssa Reetz all in Wisconsin. Their great grandchildren are Terry Kautzman Jr., Samantha Kautzman and Kiersten Meeks of Montana, Justin Kautzman of Texas, Leia Zimmer of Wyoming, and Cody Vroman, Shayla Vroman, Matthew Collin, Austin Collin, Oliver Malzhan, Jordan Harrington, Janet Reetz and Lydia Reetz of Wisconsin. And great great grandchildren, Landon and Raelynn Kautzman of Montana, Brodie Meeks of Montana and Gabriella Collin, Boux Rhinold Vroman, Colt Daniel Vroman (twin boys) of Wisconsin. He loved all of his children, grand children and great grandchildren and great great grandchildren dearly and was proud of each one of them.
Shirley and Rhinie were very involved in numerous aspects of the Eureka United Methodist Church during the formative years of their children. Rhinie voluntarily served on many committees at the church and also helped the church get their first indoor bathrooms and a new well and heating system. They lived for a number of years in Hiles, WI on Pine Lake where they continued to attend church in Three Lakes, WI and also help people with their plumbing and heating needs even though they were intending to be retired. They eventually moved to the Waupaca, WI area where they attended Trinity Lutheran Church and made many great friends from the church as well as with their neighbors. They easily made friends wherever they went. After Shirley's passing, Rhinie eventually moved back to the Eureka/Omro/Green Lake/Ripon area to be closer to family and old friends. He enjoyed re-connecting with so many people he knew from his past and it was a very positive highlight for him.
Rhinie and Shirley took time out for many years to travel throughout the western and southern United States with their RV. They made many lifelong friends from these travels that they stayed in touch with them throughout their lives. Rhinie cherished the memories from these travels and often stated that these were the best times of their lives.
Rhinie was not only known for his hard work ethic but also his zany sense of humor. He loved to crack a joke and if others didn't laugh, it was ok, he enjoyed telling the jokes and laughing himself which, in turn, made people laugh. He always had a sparkle in his eye which we will greatly miss.
He was very healthy for the better part of his life and took pride in the fact that he reached age 95 until his health took a sudden turn for the worse a couple of months ago. Rhinie stayed amazingly strong throughout the couple months of his decline and always had a good attitude that was simply beyond admirable. He loved life and had hoped he would live to be 100.
He is survived by his four children, his grandchildren, great grandchildren, great great grandchildren and three of his siblings, Illa Neal of Arizona, Fred (Sharon) Malzhan Jr of Pickett, WI and Robert Malzhan of Green Lake, WI, along with numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers Herbert, Vernard, Marvin, Arnold and Alvin Malzhan and his sisters Lucille Beier, Irene Albright, Doris Zaugg and Lorraine Shuck and his precious wife Shirley.
Visitation will be held at Butzin Marchant Funeral Home, 515 Mayparty Dr., Ripon, WI on Sunday, December 13, 2020 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m and again from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Monday, December 14 at the Eureka United Methodist Church, 8832 Wisconsin St., Eureka, WI.
Funeral Services will be held Monday, December 14, 2020 at 11 a.m. at Eureka United Methodist Church in Eureka with Reverend Andy Behrendt and Reverend Mulongo Mpoyo officiating.
Private family interment will follow at Barton Cemetery in Waupaca, WI. A memorial is being established in his name.
Family and friends are reminded of the CDC Covid-19 Guildelines for funerals. Please respect social distancing during the visitation and funeral. There will be no luncheon served after the funeral or committal at the cemetery due to COVID-19. However, a picnic memorial will be planned in Rhinie's honor in 2021.
FUNERAL SERVICE AT EUREKA UNITED METHODIST CHURCH, EUREKA, WI
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