by Dennis Dalman
A man who was very much a part of Sartell’s remarkable residential building boom for the past three decades died July 4, and his death brought sadness to the Sartell City Council at its July 8 meeting.
Martin “Marty” A. Reker, 55, died at St. Cloud Hospital due to an undisclosed illness.
City Council member Tim Elness mentioned Reker’s passing and expressed thoughts and prayers for his family, as did council member Mike Chisum.
“I live in one of the houses he built,” Chisum added.
Born to Frederick and Rita Reker in St. Cloud, Reker married Karen Erpelding at age 19. Four years later, he established Reker Construction Inc. with his uncle, Butch Bechtold. The two men and their employees built more than 1,000 homes, a good number of them in Sartell. They also built, owned and operated the Grandview Apartments in Sartell.
Reker was known by friends, family and acquaintances as a man cherished for his wit, his humor, and his generosity and kindness. He enjoyed his family most of all and also bicycling, boating, hunting, fishing, traveling and card games.
Reker and his family lived in Rice next to the Mississippi River.
Survivors include wife Karen and children Chad Reker of Eden Prairie, Katrina Bogart of Sartell and Caitlin Reker of Rice. Also surviving Reker are his mother and several grandchildren, nieces, nephews and many other family members.
A devout Catholic, a Mass was held July 11 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Sauk Rapids. Burial is set for a later date at Assumption Cemetery in St. Cloud.
Author: Dennis Dalman
Dalman was born and raised in South St. Cloud, graduated from St. Cloud Tech High School, then graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in English (emphasis on American and British literature) and mass communications (emphasis on print journalism). He studied in London, England for a year (1980-81) where he concentrated on British literature, political science, the history of Great Britain and wrote a book-length study of the British writer V.S. Naipaul. Dalman has been a reporter and weekly columnist for more than 30 years and worked for 16 of those years for the Alexandria Echo Press.