1 June 1930 – 18 November 2020
A retired Army Colonel, Gene B. Reniker began his last patrol 18 November 2020 after a short illness.
He was 90 years old. He was born in Joplin, Missouri to Louis B. Reniker and Maude Mae Sartain Reniker and spent his youth in Southwest MIssouri.
On 11 August 1952, he married Barbara Jo Neatherry Green in Bentonville, Arkansas. She shared adventures with him around the world through 18 moves in 33 years and was his strength & his love for 68 years.
Also surviving him are his three sons; Roger L. Reniker, retired Police Officer City of Paducah and wife Lesia of Hickory KY, Lieutenant Colonel (ret) Gregory G. Reniker and wife Sherry of Paris, TN, Lieutenant Colonel (ret) Perry A. Reniker and wife Teresa of Georgetown, TX, his sister Roberta Reniker Johnson and her husband Bill of Tulsa, OK, eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
Preceding him in death were his brother William E. “Billy Ed” Reniker and a grandson Ian C. Reniker.
He began his distinguished military career at the age of 17, enlisting in the Army Air Corps in June 1947, serving with the 319th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, achieving the rank of Sergeant before leaving service to attend Pittsburg State University in 1950.
He graduated from Pittsburg State University in 1954 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Administration and Supervision of Education and was honored as a Distinguished Military Graduate. After serving as the ROTC Cadet Battalion Commander, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant of Infantry in the Regular Army as part of Pittsburg State ROTC program’s first graduating class.
He is a World War II, Korean War and Cold War Era Veteran serving this nation overseas in Europe, the Far East, Central America and Southeast Asia.
He began his ARMY career as an Airborne Infantryman with the 82nd and 11th Airborne Division followed by assignments to the Infantry School and South Korea. During his tour in Vietnam he held key positions in the 25th Infantry Division “Lightning Division” to include Brigade Operations Officer for the 3rd Brigade and on the Division Staff as the G-5, Chief of Civil-Military Operations. Returning from Vietnam, he was assigned to the Joint Staff as a key member of the National Military Command Center, Washington DC. From 1970-1973, he was a Battalion Commander and the Division G-3 of the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. After serving as the G-3 of the 193rd Infantry Brigade in the Panama Canal Zone, he was assigned to Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania where he culminated his career as the Installation Commander.
His awards included the Air Force Aircrew Enlisted Badge, the Legion of Merit and the Joint Service Commendation Medal. In addition to being awarded the Vietnam Service Medal with three Campaign Stars, he was awarded the Bronze Star and the Army’s Air Medal eight times for his participation in combat operations.
He was also a Master Parachutist and earned both the Expert and Combat Infantryman's Badge.
Colonel Reniker graduated from the Infantry Officer Advance Course at Fort Benning, Georgia. Among his classmates was the future Commander of Desert Storm, General Norman Schwarzkopf. He also graduated from the Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He was a Distinguished Graduate of the Air War College, Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, Montgomery, Alabama, and graduated with Honors with a Masters Degree from Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, Tennessee.
Colonel Reniker retired from active service 31 August 1984, residing in Paris, Tennessee, to spend time with his family, hunt, fish & shoot skeet.
He was a 32nd degree Mason and a Shriner. He was also a member of the Henry County Gun Club for over 30 years.
Ridgeway Funeral Home 201 Dunlap St./P.O. Box 788, Paris, TN 38242, will be handling the arrangements. Visitation will be held Monday, November 23, 2020, at Ridgeway Funeral Home from 4:30 until 6:30 pm. His funeral service will be held Monday, November 23, 2020, at 6:30 pm in LeDon Chapel of Ridgeway Funeral Home with Dr. Trent Bullock of First Baptist Church Paris officiating. Military Honors and a committal service will be held Tuesday, November 24, 2020, at 11:00 a.m. conducted by Rev. Richard E. Davis, MSG (USA Retired) of First Baptist Church Clarksville at the Kentucky Veterans Cemetery West, Fort Campbell Blvd, Hopkinsville, KY.
Burial will follow honors and the committal service.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Col. Gene B. Reniker at https://www.alz.org