Call (608) 788-2188


Richard (Dick) Joseph Riniker

April 8, 2024 | 28 comments

Richard (Dick) Joseph Riniker, 76, of La Crosse WI, passed away peacefully on April 6th at home surrounded by family after a courageous battle with cancer. He was born on September 16, 1947, to Ray and Charlotte Riniker

He was married to Shawna for 13 years after 7 years of courtship. They had 20 years of a beautiful, blended family.

Richard could be found golfing, watching the Milwaukee Brewers, enjoying his slingshot and motorcycles, and cheering on the Green Bay Packers. And he could also be found at his favorite watering hole Sam’s bar with many of his friends.

Richard retired as the photo editor for the La Crosse Tribune after 41 years. Dick served in the Wisconsin National Guard for 30 years and was privileged to serve a few of them with two of his boys and nephews.

Survived by sisters Shirley Besl, Pat (Jan) Mahin and Rita (Bill) Dubay Children: Heath (Melissa) Riniker, Jason (Tina) Riniker, Josh (Lisa) Riniker, Bill (Deb) Kremer, and Linse Kremer. Grandchildren:  Brittany Bjorkman, Daniel Riniker, Caleb and Kylie Riniker, Sadie Riniker, Adysen Riniker, Isaiah and Jaxon Bauer, Olin Kremer and many great grandchildren. In-laws: Dana Riniker, Terri (Al) Murch, Vicky (Kevin) Kobishop, Mary Pfaff, Becky Pfaff, Toby Parrish, Barbara (Rocky) Craig, Robert (Bridget) Pfaff, and Robyn (Sam Hansen) Collins and Dawn Helfrich.

Richard was preceded in death by his parents, brother, Raymond, brother-in-law Jim Besl, and granddaughter Lexi Riniker, and mother in law Rita Pfaff.

Always with a smile and there to help others at the drop of a dime.

A huge thank you to Gundersen Hospice and all the family and friends who provided love and support during this time.

A celebration of life will be held Saturday, May 04, 2024 at Sam’s Bar, 2116 George Street La Crosse, at 12:00 p.m. Military Honors will be rendered by La Crosse American Legion Post 52 at 12:00 p.m. Coulee Region Cremation Group is assisting the family.



  1. Delilah Woods

    Shawna, kids & family-
    I’m so sorry to hear of Dick’s passing. I pray that the memories bring you peace and comfort during this difficult time. You are all in my thoughts.

    • Gloria Craig

      So sorry for your loss.

  2. Beth Mullen-Houser

    Dick’s spirit always made our neighborhood a more lively and joyful place. He is missed but we are grateful for the many years we were graced with his gentle presence


      Dick was truly a joy to be around. He would always greet you with a big smile on his face. He will be missed by all of us who privileged to know him.
      I always enjoyed seeing him riding his Slingshot down the streets of LaCrosse.

  3. Stacey Kalas

    Dick was a kind and thoughtful co-worker and friend during our shared years at the Tribune. May he rest in peace.

  4. Rindfleisch Terry

    I worked with Dick for more than 30 years. He was true professional as a photographer and always accommodating. He had a knack for finding the right photo. I have wonderful memories covering Reforger in Germany and an eye medical mission in Nicaragua. He was a kind man with a great sense of humor and treated everyone with dignity. Miss our times together. Dick had a wonderful perspective when others around seemed stressed out. Dick, RIP

    • Heath Riniker

      Thank you Terry, my dad always was impressed with your writing and always talked about the adventures with you.

    • Rudy Wuest

      Always had fun with Dick at Sam’s. He always had a smile on his face and liked to go back and forth with the kidding. So sorry Shawna he was a great person. One of your waiters at Sam’s on your date….Rudy

  5. Terry Burt

    Dick was a cheerful guy and I loved working with him. We went on lots of news assignments together, including a stint in Saudi Arabia during Desert Shield/Storm and to Fargo, N.D. covering a huge flood. Whenever I worked with a photographer, I was always happy if Dick got the assignment.
    With his Army background and my Marine Corps mindset we always got the job done and had fun along the way.
    May his family find comfort in knowing that Dick was admired by those in the news business who knew him in his workaday world.
    Terry Burt

  6. Mackenzie Mindel

    Shawna and family,
    Our neighborhood surely will not be the same without our dear, gentle neighbor, as Beth put it. Even if we didn’t chat for days or weeks, we always felt his presence across the fence. Our girls always knock on the windows to say hi to you both and I know this loss is particularly confusing for our 4 year old Bluma. David, who works at Murphy Library, reviews historical photos all the like in Special Collections, and it’s so cool to see Dick’s legacy live on through his work when we flip a photo over to see it attributed to Dick Riniker. What a special guy and so very fortunate to have a caring and devoted partner and wife, who supported him until his last moments and beyond. All our love, your neighbors, the Mindel’s at 1523 Winnebago.

  7. Dawn Dalaska

    I was lucky enough to know Dick through his wife Shawna. He was a great guy! We had several visits over the years over a beer & bonfire. ???? My last visit with them was a few weeks ago when we spent an hour talking & laughing.
    Dick was very fortunate to have so many people who loved him & who were able to spend time with him at the end.
    He leaves a big hole. But great loss means there was great love! ❤️

  8. Dawn Dalaska

    I was lucky enough to know Dick through his wife Shawna. He was a great guy! We had several visits over the years over a beer & bonfire. ???? My last visit with them was a few weeks ago when we spent an hour talking & laughing.
    Dick was very fortunate to have so many people who loved him & who were able to spend time with him at the end.
    He leaves a big hole. But great loss means there was great love! ❤️

  9. Bonnie wright

    My Heart goes out to you all! Dick had a coat (or many) that said Wrench. That’s what I started calling him.. We got this knuckle thing going & even before Dick was sick we always knuckled with our hands. It wasn’t a kiss or a hug but it was ritual and Meant so much. Love you

  10. Barb C

    Dick was an amazing person with a kind smile and had a heart of gold. He will be dearly missed by those who were lucky to have known him. Dicks love leaves a memory that will be with us forever.

  11. Shelby

    Dick was a caring, fun-loving guy who always greeted me with a smile, a chuckle and the biggest hugs. You will be missed dearly and will forever be in our hearts.

  12. Donald Ryniker

    I’m truly sorry for your loss. May Dick RIP.

  13. Lynette Neumann

    Went to Logan. Dick was a nice person and kind to all. I am sorry to all family and friends of a Dick. Lynette (Schaller) Neumann.

  14. Gayda Hollnagel

    I worked with Dick at the Tribune for nearly 30 years and he was always a great friend and supporting coworker. His photos were always top drawer (and often front page) and he did it all with patience and humor. We are all richer for having known him. My sincere condolences to you all.

  15. Kim Nimmo

    Tony and I are so so so sorry for your family’s loss….. we know, Tony and Kim

  16. Mary P

    Your wings were ready but our hearts were not. Dick you will forever be loved and missed

  17. Tom Fuchs

    I have known Dick since mid-60s, played some golf with him, partied with him. He stayed the same great guy throughout his life, humorous, honest, happy. People who were there, will never forget,
    “THE T SHIRT”, infamous!
    Keep the Good Times Rollin’ Dick….

  18. Ken Birnbaum

    Dick & I were in the same grade he went to St. Johns I went to St. James but we did not live far apart so we hung out some, more in High School we had a lot of good times, learned all our bad habits together. Loved running into him at different places mostly the American Legion he will be missed by everyone, My sympathy.

  19. PP

    Shawna. Sorry to hear about the loss of Dick. What a special guy he was. Loved visiting Lori next door and having an occasional beer with you two. He always had a smile in his face and “happy go lucky” attitude. More men should be like him. Hugs to you my friend. Love ya PP

  20. Jim Bell

    Maryann and I are saddened to learn of Dick’s passing. Dick and I worked at the La Crosse Tribune in the 1970s and 1980s. We both were the only Tribune employees active in the Wisconsin Army National Guard, so we had a shared, non-work experience.
    Taking a trip down Memory Lane, I have been looking at Dick Riniker photos from the Tribune on, which are plentiful. I am struck by the quality of his work; he truly captured the proverbial thousand words while enhancing stories major and minor, a welcome break from the current practice of stock images and outdated photos.
    Dick was an asset for the Tribune. And I believe the Tribune and the Tribune family, as it existed at the time, were good for Dick.
    Rest in peace, Sarge…
    Jim Bell
    Missoula, Montana
    former La Crosse Tribune Comptroller
    retired Missoulian publisher

  21. Larry & Therese Sciborski

    Just heard about Dicks passing. Knew him well. He was a great friend and golfing buddy. May he rest in peace and condolences to his entire family.

  22. Nancy Casper

    Dick was a fellow Tribune employee. I knew him for many years. He could always put things in perspective in a conversation with just a few words, but his true gift was his photos, each one telling a deeper story.
    I can still hear his laugh/ chuckle! It was his way, I think, of not taking life so seriously all the time.
    Just think of all those photos! What a wonderful legacy!

  23. Norman Aylsworth

    Dick was alway’s a Great Guy alway’s up beat and a good Friend. My Condolences to the Riniker Family. R.I.P. My Friend.

  24. Joleen Olson

    Tomorrow we celebrate a great man at Sam’s Bar, his favorite watering hole. This is where I met Dick when I was bartending, over 20 years ago. He was always cracking jokes, having fun, and dressed in a million layers. The last time I saw Dick we stood in the middle of the Dug Out while he hugged me while I cried after loosing a friend unexpectedly, and he owed me money!

    Dick and I had a special kind of friendship where he carried a piece of paper around for YEARS, in my hand writing, that simply said I WOVE you. Shawna told me he was totally bummed when he lost it so I replaced it with a glass heart that he carried as a replacement. I am going to miss our happy hours, teasing each other, being tipped a quarter as a joke, and that
    indistinguishable belly-rolling laugh. RIP my dear Mexican nugget, I WOVE YOU! Cheers to heaven.


Submit a Comment

Important: Condolences are approved before being posted. Condolences are not private, but viewable to the public.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Let's Celebrate Life Together

Call or send a message using the buttons below...
Call (608) 788-2188Send a Message