Georgia Rinkel

Maryville |

Georgia Lee Rinkel headed onto her next adventure in heaven with her guardian angel in tow on December 31st, 2021. We wish all those in heaven good luck!

She was apparently born on June 12, 1926, which would have made her 95, although no one knew for sure until now as she was known to never reveal her age. She had 4 perfect daughters, Deanna McOwan (Alton, IL), Jo Gibbs (Arlington Heights, IL), Yvonne Mueller (Springfield, IL), and Jeannine Randolph (Boston, MA). Although all four are delightful, she seldom welcomed their visits simultaneously, something about only being able to handle them one at a time.

She married a wonderful man, Robert Lee Rinkel, on January 18th, 1997. We think he may be a true saint, as he showed our family the meaning of true love. She had 12 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild, who she “definitely” did not allow them to visit all at once! For those of us who knew her well and loved her more, she may have been a handful, but also a truly special person with an interesting life, which is difficult to capture simply on paper. But here are some of the things we’ll miss the most. 

Her red hair defined her “personality” which unsurprisingly was described as fiery, independent, and strong-willed. Her skills as a talented businesswoman were in full force early in her life. As a teenager, she was a licensed practical nurse (LPN) who was said to be one of the youngest ever to run a nursing home in Alton, IL. She later worked in the dental field as a hygienist and ran a boarding house called the Hartford Hotel.

She was a health nut before her time. Her grandkids never had home-baked cookies (until Robert thankfully started to bake them for all of us), but we were able to find sliced apples, oranges, and grapes daily.

She had no time for television, as she was an ardent home remodeler. When she wasn’t removing staircases and front porches on a whim during her afternoon, simply because she didn’t like the layout, she could be found building the “first” second-story corner fireplace in her home, despite numerous contractors stating it couldn’t be done. It looked very nice when she finished it, I might add.

When she wasn’t wielding a sledgehammer for carpentry work, her other hobbies included sewing and making dollhouse furniture. No one could argue that she was an excellent seamstress, as long as you didn’t mind her following you down the aisle on your wedding day or school coronation, finishing up the last-minute details of your gown! Many of us girls went to dances with straight pins still in our dresses, a wee bit prickly, but the gowns were always gorgeous.

When she needed to relax, she had a “10-minute” nap rule, which she took at any place or any time, even at the Louvre in Paris where she took a nap on a bench in the Napoleon exhibit. In fact, she took naps all over the world. She was the most fun companion, and her daughters insisted she come with them, even on dangerous events such as riding horses on the side of a cliff in Mexico, visiting the rain forest in Costa Rica, or simply having coffee in Florence, Italy. She was the most entertaining of the entire family and her comments were priceless.

She kept in shape by participating in what she called “water aerobics,” as long as her hair didn’t get wet, and ballroom dancing which was a favorite pastime for her and Robert. And let’s not forget her beloved dogs, Jiggers 1,2, and 3, and Buttons, or maybe we could. They never left her side, nor let anyone get close to her side, including Robert! She did have a knack for being a caretaker, to all animals, children, and whoever was feeling ill. We all assume she will continue the same from Heaven.

Memorial visitation will be held at Barry Wilson Funeral Home on Sunday, January 16, 2022, from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

Memorial service will be on Monday, January 17, 2022, at 11:00 am at the Our Lords Lutheran Church, with a family luncheon to follow. Masks are required at both events.

Condolences may be expressed to the family at

Obit Provided By:
Barry Wilson Funeral Home & Cremation Services

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