Richard F Reinke, founder of Reinke Manufacturing Co Inc, a Deshler NE-based producer of over-the-road trailer/chassis equipment, died Feb 27, 2003, after a long illness. He was 80. Born June 16, 1922, Reinke grew up on the 480-acre family farm in Byron NE. Despite an eighth-grade education, he became a self-taught engineer and draftsman who spoke three languages. In 1985, Reinke developed a division of the company specializing in manufacturing over-the-road trailer/chassis equipment. Reinke is survived by Edna, his wife of more than 55 years, five adult children, and 16 grandchildren. The Reinke family will select a memorial at a later date. Please send condolences to Reinke Manufacturing, Attention: Brenda Mesloh, PO Box 566, Deshler NE 68340.
Kenneth W Self, retired president and chairman of Freightliner Corp, died last week at his home in Oregon at the age of 87. Self is recognized as a major figure in the progress of North American truck technology and remembered as a key player in the development and success of Portland OR-based Freightliner LLC. Self was named president of Freightliner Corp in 1959 and spearheaded the company's growth and expansion throughout the 1960s and 1970s. During his tenure, he fostered the expansion of the company's manufacturing capacity and led the development of some of Freightliner's best-selling products.