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Robert A. Rinker

Robert A. Rinker Robert A. Rinker

Robert Alan Rinker, age 86, Clarksville, Ind., passed away Sunday, Feb. 13, 2022.

Robert was born March 7, 1935, in Greensburg, Ind., to Kenneth and Georgiana Emig Rinker.

He graduated from New Albany High School class of 1953. He enlisted in the Kentucky Air National Guard at the age of 18, working his way up from base firefighter and military police to airman 1st class, serving in the 165th Fighter Interceptor Squadron and the Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron. Afterward, he joined the U.S. Air Force, where he was honorably discharged in 1961 after earning a degree in aviation science. He is the author of “Understanding Ballistics,” a technical book on firearms, penning numerous articles and essays on the subject for national magazines.

As a man of many talents, he also worked as a tool and die apprentice during the day while attending college at night, earning his master’s degree in industrial engineering. He owned and operated his own tool and die machine shop where some of the work was done on firearms, including guns for the U.S. Navy. He utilized his military training in civilian life employed as a commercial pilot and flight instructor, trained naval aviators during the Vietnam War, taught aerobatics and worked for many years for HAPS Aerial Enterprises at Clark County Airport for William (Hap) Happel.

Robert was preceded in death by his parents.

He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Betty E. Rinker; his son, Robert A. Rinker Jr. (Jennifer) of Hamilton, Ohio; daughters, Bonnie Rinker of New Albany, Ind., Tammy Phillips (Dan) of Shepherdsville, Ky., and Teresa Babcock (Philip) of Depauw, Ind.; six grandchildren, Terra Rinker of Coco Beach, Fla., Brian Rinker (Jessica) of Fairfield, Ohio, Perry Jenkins (Ellie) of Depauw, Tina Missi (Brad) of Mauckport, Ind., Morgan Smith (Rachel) of Louisville, Ky., and Lt. Mason Smith (Ginger) of South Korea; and 10 great-grandchildren.

Cremation was chosen, and a memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022, at Fairview Cemetery, 800 East 6th St., New Albany.

Swarens Funeral Home in Ramsey, Ind., has been entrusted with the arrangements.