Carmen Angel Reinke, 45, of Lenexa, Kan., passed away on January 12, 2022. She was born on February 18, 1976, the second of six children to Kurt and Kathy Reinke in Neenah Menasha, Wisconsin.
When Carmen was twelve years old, the family moved to Shawnee, Kan. Carmen attended Shawnee Mission Northwest High School and graduated in 1994. It was during this period that Carmen began cultivating a love for fashion, event planning, and French culture. Carmen pursued these interests by earning an associate degree in Fashion Design at Johnson County Community College and taking classes in Business Management and Human Relations at Mid-America Nazarene University.
Carmen was very outgoing and loved making new friends. If you went out into town with Carmen, it was almost inevitable that she would run into someone she knew. People were drawn to her loving and caring disposition and found that when you became friends with her, she was the most faithful.
Carmen also loved food. She enjoyed discovering new recipes and experimenting in the kitchen, although she would be the first to admit that she could do pretty much anything except boil eggs properly. Carmen was also an avid Chiefs and Royals fan, taking pride in her hometown teams and often fashionably donning their attire.
Anyone who knew Carmen knew that her brothers were her pride and joy, as they are all kind, gracious, and gifted men. Carmen loved to brag to others about her five wonderful brothers, their many accomplishments, and their families, as she was also an aunt to nine beautiful nieces and nephews.
Carmen began her battle with kidney disease, among other conditions, in 2009. While graciously dealing with complicated and painful illnesses, Carmen often used her circumstances as a way to minister to others. Carmen’s faith in her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was unshakeable. During her countless trips to hospitals, she would often be heard asking her nurses and care team members how she could pray for them.
Carmen was also very determined to prevent others from having to struggle with the same illness she so bravely battled, so she was very involved and spent countless hours advocating for kidney disease awareness.
Carmen was a profoundly kind and beautiful person, both inside and out. She was selfless and caring, often putting others before herself. Anyone who was blessed to have known Carmen was a better person because of it. She will truly be missed and, above all, cherished by all those who knew her. She leaves behind a legacy of perseverance, courage, kindness, and faith.
Survivors include her parents, Kurt and Kathy of Lenexa, Kan.; brother, Loren, and family of Oviedo, Fla.; brother, Brien, and family of Branson, Mo.; brother, Daren, and family of Lexington Park, Md.; brother, Keven, and family of Olathe, Kan.; brother, Nathen, of Overland Park, Kan.; and a host of aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Visitation will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, January 22, 2022, at LifeMission Church, 16111 S. Lone Elm Rd., in Olathe, Kan. A Celebration of Life service will immediately follow at 11 a.m. Carmen’s request was that all attending would wear pink in memory and celebration of her favorite color. The service will be live streamed online from the church website, lifemission.church/watch.