John E. Reutner, Sr.


MENDOTA - John E. “Big John” Reutner, Sr., 68, of Mendota passed away March 2, 2019 at his home surrounded by family and friends after a short illness.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, March 7 at the Merritt Funeral Home, Mendota with Rev. Mary Bohall officiating. Cremation rites will be accorded after the funeral. Private burial will be at Restland Cemetery, Mendota at a later date. Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 6 at the funeral home.

John was born Sept. 21, 1950 in Peru to George and Ada (Stegen) Reutner. He married the love of his life, Karen Wear on April 2, 1976.

Survivors include his wife of Mendota; one son, John (Kelly) Reutner of Mendota; one daughter, Genia (Hank) Nickel of Sublette; two honorary sons, the “Golden Child” Craig (Shanan) Bonnell of Cortland and Todd (Amy) Matsko of Princeton; six grandchildren, Dillion, Trevor, Alexandria, Toby, Hayden and Owen.; one great-grandson, Cameron; four honorary grandchildren, Tristen and Baylea Bonnell and Marisia and Kayleigh Matsko; five sisters, Katie, Jessie, Georgia, Elizabeth and Ada; five brothers, George Jr., Fred, Jim (Ruby), Bob (Robin) and Chris; and many cousins, nieces, nephews, brother- and sisters-in-law.

He was preceded in death by his parents and one brother, David.

John was a retired truck driver for the Illinois Teamsters. He was known to most as the guy who knew everything. If you needed something, he had it, could fix it, or find it. Every morning you could find John at his kitchen table cooking breakfast and making coffee for the “coffee clutch” clan that stopped by. Many of John’s hobbies included cutting many acres of grass, spending time on his son’s farm, working on projects in his garage, and spending many hours at the grill cooking for his family. He was an avid volunteer for REGAP of Illinois helping his friends, George and Mona Moore. Even after retirement, John was never bored spending many hours going on road trips with his wife and sister, Ada; working on projects with his dear friend, Andy Ridge of Mendota; hanging out at the Lube Cube in Mendota with friends Brian and Brenda Deary; and of course, working on the many projects “his” boys, Trevor and Toby had for him.

Memorials may be directed to the family.

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