Martin Leland Rinne, 84, of Higginsville, died December 10th at St. Luke’s Medical Center.  

He was born April 6, 1935, the second child of Martin & Clara May (Erdman) Rinne, at Higginsville, Mo. He was baptized and confirmed at Salem United Church of Christ. He attended grade school at the Willow Branch and Jennings Rural Schools. He graduated from the Higginsville High School in 1953.

His ambition was to be a truck driver, and he started by driving for the Higginsville Lumber Yard. Later, he drove for Steva Stone Co., Richmond, MO; Eagle Mill & Elevation, delivering concrete; Vince Riesterer, Concordia, hauling livestock; Vance Brothers, hauling asphalt; Gooch Milling Company; Tri Foods Company; Long Oil Co.; and later bought his own truck and leased to C & H Truck Co., Dallas TX. He drove over the road, in all 48 states of the mainland. He worked for Farmland Industries in Kansas City, and Unitog Uniforms, in Warrensburg. In 1992, he was awarded Trucker Driver of the Year for Farmland, Industries. 

He married Rose Ellen (Patsy) Poisal August 8, 1954. They had premature twins in 1955, the little girl, Ellen Nanette, died. Her brother, Garret survived, and was joined by a sister, Loretta, two brothers, Martin & Vadney. They lived in Concordia most of the time the children were growing up and moved back to Higginsville in 1969. Patsy died in March, 1985.

In 1990, Leland married Betty Starke and they lived on a farm just south of Higginsville, where he raised Angus cattle after retiring from Unitog in 2000.  

He was an active member of the Cattlemen’s Association. Over the years, he enjoyed horseback riding, square dancing, motor homing, traveling with the Rinne family, card playing and eating out. He was an active member of Salem United Church of Christ, serving on the Church council, and active in Men’s Fellowship group.  

He was preceded in death by parents, his first wife, Patsy; daughter, Ellen; and brother, Weston. 

He is survived by: his wife, Betty; 3 sons, Garret Rinne (Sue) of Blue Springs, and Martin Rinne (Tina) of Grain Valley, Vadney Rinne (Barbara) of Lee’s Summit; a daughter, Loretta Penfield of Blue Springs; 2 step children, Gary Starke (Terie) of Higginsville, and Pam Smith (Randy) of Van Alstyne TX.  

A sister, Doris Bird of Big Pine CA; 5 brothers, Darrel Rinne (Juanita)of Higginsville, Delmar Rinne (Lynn) of Beaufort MO, Bill Rinne (Donna)of Olathe KS, Bob Rinne (Karen) of Overland Park, KS, Howard Rinne (Sherri) of Olathe, KS; a sister-in-law, Joyce Rinne of Holden MO.

 7 grandchildren, Garret Alan Rinne (Jennifer), Blayne Rinne (Lacey), Carrie Roberts (JR), Sarah Rinne, Jenni Grebe (Carlton), Jeffrey Penfield (Megan), and Scott Penfield (Nikki).  

8 step grandchildren, Bryan Starke (Anna), Sabra McDowell (Bill), Chris Shull (Tammy), Kevin Shull (Emily), KyleShull (JoAnn), Torrie Levins (James), Ashlynn Robinson (Drew), Caleb Smith (Laura).

18 great grandchildren

Visitation will be Sat. December 14th at 1:30 pm, at the Salem United Church of Christ.

Memorial Services will follow at 3:00 pm at the church.

He will be buried at a later date. 

Memorials are suggested to Children’s Mercy Hospital or Salem UCC Cemetery.

Kaiser-Wiegers Funeral Home