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January 18, 1947 ~ May 10, 2023 (age 76) 76 Years Old
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Arnold “Arnie” Harlan Rients, Jr, 76, of Jackson, MN passed away on May 10th, 2023, at Sanford USD Medical Center in Sioux Falls.
Military Honors will be May 19th, 2023, at 5pm at the Jackson American Legion with an open house Celebration of Life to follow from 5-7pm. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be sent to American Legion Post 130.
Arnie, son of Arnold and Laura Mae (Puck) Rients, was born January 18, 1947, in Jackson, Minnesota. He was the oldest of 5 children. He attended St. Paul Lutheran parochial school thru 8th grade and graduated from Okabena High School in May 1965 where he excelled in all sports, enjoyed riding bulls in the High School Rodeo, was a class president and the Homecoming King.
Arnie attended Worthington Junior College in the fall of 1965 to play football. He enlisted in the Air Force in 1966 and completed his basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. He served at Kirkland Air Force Base in New Mexico before transferring to Anderson Air Force Base in Guam. Arnie was stationed in Guam for 16 months during the Vietnam War. Upon returning home, Arnie married Pamela Schulz in September 1969. The couple moved to New York where he finished his service commitment at Griffiss Air Force Base. After his discharge from the Air Force, he returned home to Minnesota where he enrolled in carpentry classes at Jackson Technical School, and this became his profession. Arnie managed the Lakefield VFW for several years before becoming the owner and operator of Lakefield Ready Mix and Rients Construction. He worked building and remodeling homes and in real estate throughout his life. Arnie and Pam had three children together before their divorce in 1978. In 1987 he met Sandy Barber with whom he spent the next 15 years.
Arnie loved his family and friends with his whole heart and enjoyed any time spent with them. He was a craftsman and if something was broken, you could always call Arnie and he’d find a way to fix it, tweak it or build it, even if it was in his “Arnie style”. No matter how little or how much he had, he thought of others and was generous with what he had. He loved rummaging and bargaining for a good deal, especially with his grandchildren. Often, the treasures he found were given to family and friends that he thought they would enjoy. Arnie enjoyed golfing and time at the lake, always chasing that big fish! Arnie was proud to be an Air Force veteran and volunteered many hours with American Legion Post 130 in Jackson.
Grateful for having shared his life are his daughters, Leigh (Trevor) Risch and Erin (Mark) Pederson of Sioux Falls; grandchildren Hannah, Maddie, Sam, Behrhart and Josephine all of Sioux Falls; siblings, Janell (Clayton) Leopold of Heron Lake, MN, Bruce (Jo) Rients of Lakefield, MN, Sharon MIttelstadt (John Brink) and Lynette (Dan) Cline of North Mankato, MN; many nieces and nephews; Sandy’s children, Pam Rohloff, her children Brandon and Morgan and Brandon’s daughter, Maryjane, Tracy (Jeff) Johnson and their children Sophie and Samuel all of Jackson, MN, Bret Rohloff, his children Ben, Annie and Daniel and Brian (Alanna) Rohloff and their children Kaspian and Jett all of Eagan, MN.
Arnie was preceded in death by his parents, infant sister, Janet Ann and his son, Ryan Rients.
Arnie was a man who lived in the moment and lived life to the fullest. He always had a smile for everyone and in his famous words “Life is good.”