Perry “Pete” Foster Reininga, age 91, of Frisco, Texas, formerly of Dunkirk, NY, passed away July 12, 2022, surrounded by family. Pete was born in Western Springs, Illinois to Perry and Elizabeth Foster Reininga who predeceased him. He earned a BS from Allegheny College, Meadville, PA, and a MBA in Finance from New York University, New York, NY. Surviving polio after his freshman year influenced his later passion in philanthropy. He started his management career with Sears Roebuck and Company in Flint, Michigan. In 1957, he joined the family business, George H. Graf and Co. and Graf Realty Corp, Dunkirk, NY, where he had a distinguished career managing the family’s furniture company and real estate development businesses. He was responsible for the development of properties in Chautauqua County, Erie, PA, and DeSoto, TX. Of these, he was most proud of the development of Lincoln Arms Housing, Inc. Pete was involved with numerous charitable and civic organizations throughout his life. His most cherished activity was his involvement with Dunkirk Rotary Club, where he was a Paul Harris Fellow, Past President, and Rotarian of the year. Whether he was cooking steaks for the annual Rotary Steak Fry at Town and Country Restaurant or leading the clubs effort to raise funds for Rotary International’s world-wide effort to eradicate polio, Pete always enjoyed fellowship and friendship that Rotary offered. Pete was a Founding Board Member of the Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation. He was a member of Dunkirk United Methodist Church.
In 1953, Pete married his beloved college sweetheart Elizabeth Anne “Betty Anne” Graf and they shared many wonderful adventures, including raising twin sons, Daniel and David, until her death in 2005. They particularly enjoyed ocean cruises, among them two cruises around the world. In 2000, they were invited to christen the Holland America Lines ship, MS Volendam and enjoyed her maiden voyage.
Pete’s cousin, Bill Walker, introduced him to his Texas friend, Donna Richards, who he married in 2007. Pete surprised Donna with a World Cruise honeymoon, sharing his love for cruising with her.
Pete adored his family, loved offering life advice and celebrating life events of each member! He particularly loved the family’s cottage on Smoke Lake in Algonquin Park, Canada. Some of his most cherished moments were spent enjoying the floating dock, the sundowner deck or the screened porch with family and friends. Many a limerick was told over the years!
Pete is survived by his wife, Donna; his sons, Daniel (Wendy) Reininga of Dunkirk, NY, and David (Kathy) Reininga of DeSoto, TX; sister, Alice Ann Reininga Bradke of Schenectady, NY; stepdaughters, Barbara Richards of Aubrey, TX and Karen Richards (John Cooper) of McKinney, TX. Grandchildren, Elizabeth Geiger (Jonathan), Mark Reininga (Rachel), Parker Reininga, Alex Reininga, Derek Reininga, Jacki Reininga, and “adopted” granddaughter, Yuliya Taranovich (Sasha); great grandchildren, Daniel, Lily, Joanna, Naomi and Solomon Geiger and Hagen Reininga.
A Celebration of Life will be held at Shorewood Country Club, 4958 West Lake Road, Dunkirk, NY. Thursday June 29, 2023 at 11 am. Pastor Vince Eisaman, officiating. A reception for family and friends will follow. The Celebration of Life service will be streamed live on Pete’s site on the Larson-Timko Funeral Home web site, larsontimkofuneralhome.com, commencing at 11 am.
Flowers gratefully declined. In honor of Pete’s legacy, the family is requesting that donations be made to the Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation, 212 Lake Shore Drive West, Dunkirk, NY, 14048. On-line condolences may be made at larsontimkofuneralhome.com or west-hurtt funeral home.com
Arrangements by David J. Dengler, LARSON- TIMKO Funeral Home.