Arthur L. Reimer 111

Arthur Reimer

August 8th, 1948 – December 4th, 2023

*Author’s Note: The following are excerpts from the Celebration of Life service for Arthur L. Reimer III for you to read, reflect, and pay your respects privately. It was an honor for me to learn about Art and help capture his story for his dear family and friends. He will be dearly missed by many. 

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Where we are experiencing his loss- a missing piece- Art is experiencing completeness- wholeness. Art is home now in the loving embrace of our Lord in heaven. His journey is complete. He is reunited with his parents, Arthur and Marie, his sister Marie, his brother Steve, mother-in-law Carol, sister-in-law Linda, other loved ones and friends, and a menagerie of dear pets. He is surrounded by love.

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Art grew up in Chicago with five siblings. At age 10, the family moved to Kenosha, WI. Art’s childhood was full of lots of cousins, music, and a plethora of pets. Art loved music, sang in the choir, and played piano. Art, like much of his family, worked at the Lincoln Park Zoo. He was the train operator. Art loved animals. When folks would donate pets for various reasons to the care of the zoo, Art would rescue them so that they didn’t get fed to the snakes. This made for an exciting home life filled with pet dogs, cats, squirrels, chameleons, raccoons, and more.

Art was named after his father and grandfather. With several Arthurs in the family, little Arthur the third needed a nickname. His father served in the Navy during WWII, so he fittingly referred to his first born son as his second in command- his Skipper. And little Arthur fondly became known as Skip.

Art was proud to attend Kenosha schools and be part of the first graduating class of Lance Junior High 1963 and the first graduating class of Tremper High School 1966. Art was a lifelong learner and acquired numerous technical certifications. A well-rounded handyman, if anything broke, Art could fix it. Before the ease of internet searches, Art even frequented the library to find the right information for whatever project he was working on. He loved to build and putz with projects. He even built a 2½ car garage from the ground up by himself.

Art’s family was all smiles and laughs and a few tears explaining to me all his hobbies and interests. It is probably simpler to list the things he didn’t do. Wow! Art sure embraced life, seized opportunities, and constantly expanded his horizons. What a wonderful example he set for his family. He would work all day then come home and build something or dig into some project. Art did just about everything from plaster casting, candy making, dark room photography, computer coding, gardening, locksmithing, and woodworking to latch hook crafts, car repair, and cooking. If there was a kitchen gadget made by Ninja, he had it and learned how to use it.

While Art was working construction and building the Pleasant Prairie Power Plant, he and his crew ate almost daily at A&W. It was there that he met a beautiful waitress named Karen Matelski. Karen thought Art was a funny guy, and since they saw each other daily, they finally decided to go out. Art and Karen were soon united in marriage in Kenosha on August 5th, 1978. They enjoyed a wonderful marriage for over 45 years and raised 4 children Jamie, Christy, Joe, and Katie.

Together, Art and Karen operated Matelski’s Bar from 1989 to 1999. Art began working for WE Energies in 1996 and retired from there as a Plant Operator in 2018. Art was incredibly hardworking. He was a loyal UAW Laborers Union member. His family said he has strong principles. He would stand up for the causes he believed in and marched for solidarity.

Family was everything to Art. Absolutely everything! He loved being a dad and adored being a grandfather. His children and grandchildren alike say he was simply the best. His children lovingly recall Sunday Fun Days with their dad. He would take them to zoos, museums, fairs, and Great America. Sundays were family days full of cooking and playing fun, yet quite competitive, card games. The younger generation of kids remember that Dad got paid on Tuesdays so Wednesday was Toy Day!

Art was full of enthusiasm for pranks. He’d wear Halloween masks in the summer and jump out of the bushes to scare the kids and their friends. Grandson, Jeff, said he was the funniest person. Art was known to drive all the way to Chicago just to get a hot dog. He loved helping with school projects and was super involved. If you had an idea, he would take it and run with it. Daughter Christy said, “I’d have an idea for a school project or something, but I didn’t want my dad to know about it because he would make it his own.” Son Joe appreciated his dedication to all the pinewood derby car builds. He taught the kids how to cook and fish and grill bacon.

Art enjoyed adventure, and he and Karen thought Kennebunkport was a funny name, so they drove to Maine to check it out! Art loved history and thoroughly enjoyed learning about places and events. Art liked going up north to the Baraboo/Wisconsin Dells area. He enjoyed going to Beloit to see the Snapper baseball games and to Green Bay for Packers training camp. Car rides through Pets Park and by Lake Michigan were always favorites.

Art had a big heart and wore his emotions on his sleeve. You knew you were loved, and you were also clear on what he didn’t care for. He loved to tease and joke, and he giggled and pulled pranks until the end. With his levels of enthusiasm, determination, and involvement, he seemed larger than life- an incredible presence, a phenomenal role model, a fun person, a dedicated family man, and as grandson Jason would say, a wonderful Bubba.

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Embrace and share with others the qualities of Art that you love and miss so much. Cheer on the Packers, take a car ride by the lake, rescue an animal, buy the latest kitchen gadget, dig into a new hobby, enjoy the heck out of spending time with your family, and fill your dash and remember Art.

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Art will be forever loved and missed by his wife Karen, his children Jamie, Christy, Joe, and Katie and their families, 7 grandchildren, 2 great-grandchildren, his siblings Pat, Ethel, and Glen and their families, and a multitude of dear friends.

Art, may you rest in eternal peace knowing you are dearly loved.

My sincere condolences and love, Holly

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