Richard John Mintken
THE VILLAGES, Fla. — Richard John Mintken, 76, of The Villages was born on July 29, 1944, in Fremont, Nebraska to Curtis Mintken and Wilma Krohn Mintken.
Rich was raised on a farm near Fremont with his parents and five siblings. In 1962, Rich graduated Hooper High School as a four-sport athlete.
Rich attended Wayne State College, earned a B.A. in education in 1967 and lettered in football. He continued his education earning his master’s degree from Lesley College in 1995. While at Wayne State, Rich met his best friend, Genie Block, from Nemaha, Iowa, and they enjoyed 55 years of marriage.
Rich and Genie moved to Milwaukee, where he began his 32-year teaching and coaching career in West Allis with the West Milwaukee Schools. He worked as physical education teacher and head coach for football, wrestling and weightlifting at West Milwaukee High School.
Rich made a lasting impact on many students that lasted a lifetime. Rich founded the Milwaukee YMCA Barbell Club and organized many weightlifting, powerlifting and physique meets at the YMCA, Summerfest and Wisconsin State Fair.
In 1975, Rich and Genie moved to Delafield, Wisconsin. They were active members of the Nagawicka Lake Yacht Club, where Rich served as commodore. They were also active members of Christ the King Lutheran Church.
Rich loved life on the lake where he and his family enjoyed sailing, fishing and boating. Over the years, Rich and Genie opened their home to countless friends and family.
Upon retirement in 1999, Rich and Genie moved north to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (U.P.) where they embraced life as Yoopers for over 20 years. They made countless friendships across the Keweenaw and volunteered at every opportunity. Rich filled his schedule as a docent at the Eagle Harbor Lighthouse, a trustee on the KCHS Board, and volunteered countless hours restoring the historic Gay School in Gay.
Rich enjoyed his weekly gatherings with the Posse running group and cherished their friendship. Yearly, the Posse ran the first five miles of the Michigan Torch Run. Rich and Genie lived on the shores of Lake Superior, and again, opened their doors to more family and friends. They loved sharing campfires on the beach and watching the sunsets.
Starting in 2004, they divided their time between the U.P. and Florida. The snowbirds quickly developed new friends and found more opportunities to contribute at Rail’s End in Wildwood. In 2014, they moved to The Villages to enjoy an active lifestyle, nightly music and golf courses. Golf became a passion for this active couple. They played countless holes of league play, along with casual outings with family and friends. In May 2020, they both celebrated hole-in-ones. Rich and Genie were active in the Lake Deaton United Methodist Church.
Over the years, Rich remained true to his roots cheering on his Huskers and Packers. He loved traveling and exploring the U.S. and Canada. Rich remained dedicated to athletics throughout his life. Even during retirement, Rich refused to slow down. He was an accomplished athlete and qualified for 8 National Senior Games in the shot put, discus, hammer and powerlifting events and won many gold medals. He also competed in two Huntsman World Games. He continued as a volunteer coach for the Wildwood Middle High School track and field throwers and as a member of the Wildwood Middle High School Booster Club. “Do your best, it is the best you can do. The rest will all work out,” Coach Mintken.
Rich had competed and coached the day before a sudden brain tumor diagnosis. Rich and family are grateful for numerous friends and family that came to visit. He was blessed with loving care from family, Shands Hospital and Cornerstone Home Hospice. Rich passed away peacefully May 30, 2021 with Genie, Randy and Tamera at his side.
Rich is survived by his wife, Genie; their children, Randy (Quanmin, Nicky), Tamera (Scott, Cal, Sam); sisters, Cindy (Dan), Donna (Greg), Judy; sister-in-law, Joyce; sister-in-law, Merilyn (Mike); brother-in-law, Tom (Bev); nieces, Maria, Melanie, Monique and Laurie; and nephews, Mike and Alex.
Rich was preceded by his parents; in-laws, Merlyn and Betsy; brothers, Gary, infant brother, Larry, and Stanley; brother-law, Kent; and a niece, Dawn.
We will always remember Rich’s big heart and generous spirit. He will continue to inspire and guide us. Thank you for being part of his journey. Honor him by living life to the fullest. Details for a celebration of life will be shared at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to: KCHS Gay School Museum, Gay School Museum, 670 Lighthouse Road, Eagle Harbor, MI 49950, Mohawk United Methodist: P.O. Box 76, Mohawk, MI 49950, or Grace United Methodist, 201 Isle Royale Street, Houghton, MI 49931.