Matthew J. “Chee Chee” Riniker

Matthew J. “Chee Chee” Riniker, age 83, of Bernard, IA, completed his earthly journey on May 8, 2022, at MercyOne in Dubuque.  To honor Matthew’s life, his Celebration of Life will be held at 11:00 a.m., on Saturday, May 28, 2022, at The Barn, 5090 Sherrill Road, with Rev. James T. Chappell officiating.  Family and friends of Matthew’s are invited to join in faith, food, and fellowship from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at The Barn in Sherrill, IA.  Burial will be in the Assumption Catholic Cemetery in Zwingle, IA, at a later date.  The Tri-State Cremation Center is humbly serving Matthew’s family.


Matthew was born on December 18, 1938, in Dubuque, IA, a son to Matthew V. and Marie Riniker.  He grew up understanding the value of hard work, family, and the simple pleasures in life.  Matthew was united in marriage to Ann Breitbach in 1973, and they were blessed with several years together.  Matthew invested over 30 years of his time and talents at the Dubuque Pack before moving into retirement.  He went on to spend a few years enjoying the farming life in the Sherrill area before eventually settling into his favorite position of helping all of his friends and neighbors at Leisure Lake with the maintenance required around the area.  You could often find Matthew’s driving around in his PT Cruiser with his canine companion, Chloe, right by his side, and if the work was all done for the day, a delicious cook out, or some time in the garden or the wood working shop were among his top three best ways to pass the time.  Matthew was well known for his heart of gold and his happy-go-lucky attitude.  He never met a stranger that wasn’t soon to be a friend and if you made it onto his extensive list of friends, you were as good as family in Matthew’s mind.  It’s difficult to imagine a world without Matthew’s joyful and larger than life spirit brightening our days.  His last year has surely been difficult, but we are forever grateful for the abundance of good years Matthew was blessed with along the way.  We will miss him more than words could accurately convey and we pray that he is now free of the earthly battles which he’s been fighting so bravely.  Thank you, Matthew, for sharing all that was good about you so generously and may peace be yours until we all meet again.


Those left behind to cherish the memory of Matthew include,


his 2 siblings,

Rose Marie (Mervin) Theill, East Dubuque, IL,

and Gerald “Jerry” (Judy) Riniker, Durango, IA;


his 11 nieces and nephews;


along with numerous extended family, friends, and neighbors.


Matthew was preceded in death by his parents; and his sister, Karen (Jerry) Smith.


In loving memory of Matthew, memorials may be made in his name to Hospice of Dubuque, 1670 J.F.K. Road, Dubuque, IA, 52002


Matthew’s family would like to thank the nurses and staff at Mt. Pleasant Home, Mercy Hospital, and Hospice of Dubuque for all of their professional and compassionate care of Matthew.  We cannot thank you enough for the peace you all helped to bring into Matthew’s life, along with ours, during some of his most difficult days.  May God bless each and every one of you for your kindnesses!


Online condolences may be shared with Matthew’s family at

Celebration of Life

The Barn
5090 Sherrill Road, Sherrill, Iowa, 52073
May 28th, 2022 from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM

3 comments on “Matthew J. “Chee Chee” Riniker
  1. Jane Schmitt says:

    Such a nice guy. Always willing to help. I am happy he got to spend the last part of his life at the lake.

  2. Sheila A Vandermillen says:

    Not too many of our dad’s (Norm Steil) stories from back in the day didn’t include, at some point, “that damn Chee Chee”. The antics, shenanigans and just plain dumb stunts that gang from Durango pulled were epic!
    Sending condolences to your family. A life well lived… he was one of the good ones.

  3. Deb Powers says:

    I remember meeting “Chee Chee” through my mom, Delores Kloser, at Leisure Lake. Although our meeting was brief, I thought a lot of him and true to his obituary, I recognized his “heart of gold.” R.I.P. & say ‘hi’ to mom!

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