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Minnie Yock

September 17, 1912 June 18, 2011
Minnie Yock
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Obituary for Minnie Yock

Minnie Lois Yock 98, of Pekin passed away on Saturday June 18, 2011 at her home. Born in Atkins, IA to Albert and Minnie Mitchel Rinderknecht on September 17, 1912. She married Joe Yock in Farmer City on September 2, 1939. He survives along with her sister Ruth (Clem) Campbell of Pekin, brothers: Albert (Bethel) Rinderknecht of Mirion, IA, David (Nancy) Rinderknecht of Sun City West, AZ and numerous nieces and nephews. Her parents and brothers: Dean, Eugene, George and Paul Rinderknecht preceded her in death. Minnie and her husband Joe were married for 71 years and have lived in the same duplex across from Mineral Springs Park their entire marriage and still held each others hand when together. Minnie was a Registered Nurse, graduating from Mt. Mercy School of Nursing in Cedar Rapids, IA in 1933. During her 42 years of nursing she treated the sick and injured from the 1939 tornado in South Pekin, the 1954 explosion at American Distilling Co. and assisted with numerous home deliveries. She saw patients from three generations of the same family. People often came up to her and said they recall her treating them. When Minnie came to Pekin in 1935 from a small town near Cedar Rapids, she earned $40 a month plus room and board at Pekin Hospital. Nurses lived on 4 South back then. Her now husband Joe went to the hospital one day to sell Prudential Insurance to the nurses. Minnie was downstairs getting materials to make surgical packs when another nurse said “Hi Minnie” and Joe after seeing her repeated “Hi Minnie” as well. When she got back upstairs she told the women there, “Some smart guy down there thinks he’s cute.” They were married three years later. In 1936 Minnie took a job with Dr. W.A. Balcke and his son Louis, who occupied offices next to the Pekin Daily Times building. There she earned $60 a month, but had to pay her own room and board. She also received $2 every time she went to a home to help deliver a baby.  When the tornado struck South Pekin in March of 1939, she along with other nurses and Doctors were called to help. She recalled seeing injured lying on the street with cuts and broken bones and Ambulances going back and fourth to the hospital. As they went through town, a boy came running to them and told them he thought his daddy was dead and after going with the boy they found he was. She remembered the hospital was full and it was quite a tragedy at that time. When WWII broke out, Louis Balcke was called into services and W.A. Balcke had developed a bad heart. Dr. James Wiemer, W.A.’s nephew, was brought into the practice and she recalled doing what they could during the war. Both Balckes died shortly after the war ended, and Dr. Wiemer brought in Dr. Russell Taubert and Dr. Robert Rhodes, forming the Medical Group. Along with another nurse, in 1945 Minnie organized the Pekin Registered Nurses, a group that meets every other month. On August 4, 1954, an explosion rocked the American Distilling plant, and again Minnie was there to serve. She was called at home and asked to go to the hospital to help with the injured. She recalled going through a lot of burn ointment. The doctors group took care of a lot of industrial work-related injuries through their office. There were seven railroads, four coal mines as well as American Distilling, Standard Brands and Quaker Oats in this area at that time. She really liked the work and if she would have had the money she would have gone on to become a Doctor. After her retirement in 1977 she played a lot of Solitaire, traveled and used to do a lot of baking and would often give away her homemade brownies. She was an avid Cubs fan and took a lot of guff for that over the years. She enjoyed that every once in a while she would run across a former patient who remembered she help deliver them or the ones that use to dislike her because they remembered all the shots she gave them over the years. She cherished the memories. Minnie was a devoted member of St. Joseph Catholic Church were she was a member of the Council of Catholic Women and was a charter member of the Ladies of Columbus. A funeral mass will be held on Wednesday June 22, at 10 a.m. at her church. Father Timothy Nolan will officiate. There will be no visitation. Private burial will be in Sacred Heart Cemetery in Pekin. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to St. Joseph Catholic Church.

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