Obituary of Russell Reinhart
Russell F. Reinhart, 85, of Lower Pottsgrove Township, widower of Dorothy Matthews Reinhart, passed away suddenly on Thursday, June 28, 2018.
Born in Red Hill, PA, he was the youngest child of the late Howard Joseph Reinhart and the late Lizzie Moll Reinhart.
Russell graduated from Pennsburg High School, and also attended the University of Illinois for bakery engineering.
Russell’s career was steeped in construction and engineering. As a young man, he worked for Tilghman Hauseman as a builder, and helped to construct the Firestone Store in Pottstown, as well as countless homes in the North, East and West ends of Pottstown. In the early 1960’s he embarked on a rich and memorable 30-year career working for Mrs. Smith’s Pie Company in Pottstown, where he was responsible for maintenance engineering for the entire plant, and also building maintenance for the complex. Additionally, he was a key player in Purchasing and Control Stores for the entire operation. Of particular note, Russell managed major construction projects at Mrs. Smith’s as the plant expanded, including the ground-breaking Radamaker pie shell manufacturing project, and Project Future, which marked the production launch of the Mrs. Smith’s SmartStyle line in the early 1990’s. There was not an inch of the Mrs. Smith’s complex that he didn’t know or hadn’t worked on. During Kellogg’s ownership of Mrs. Smith’s, Russell was also a key leader in the initial operational set-up of Kellogg’s east coast Eggo Waffle plant in Blue Anchor, NJ, where Eggo Waffles are still made today.
Russell served in the Army during the Korean War, and was stationed for two years at Fort Hood, in Texas, where he quickly earned the rank of Sergeant in the tank division, and was also a purchasing manager for the base depot. He had a very deep love and affection for his country. He was also a man of great principle and integrity, both at home and work.
Russell was an avid athlete his entire life, and as a young boy was always found with a ball in his hands. During both his junior and senior years in high school, he served as co-captain of the football, basketball and baseball teams, played Legion Baseball after high school, and was recruited to play baseball as a pitcher for his U.S. Army company while at Fort Hood. He actively played golf with friends and family most of his life, and even in his 80’s was always ready to engage in a quick game of ‘shooting hoops’ with his great grandson, Brody. He lived for baseball season to start each April and was a diehard Phillies fan.
Russell was a passionate woodworker, having hand-crafted a roll top desk for his daughter’s 14th birthday, as well as countless armoires, tables, and more. He also loved making holiday wreaths out of natural materials, and would gift them to family and friends. With his construction and engineering background, there was next to nothing that he could not fix or build, and he relished the challenge of fix-it projects of all types. Even as a young boy, he loved working with his father’s tools, repairing the bikes and tricycles of neighborhood child friends.
Russell was ‘Mr. Project,’ and loved working in his yard, always making sure that his home was in tip-top shape inside and out, doing so even on the day he suddenly passed. But most of all, he adored and lived for his family, and was a devoted and loving husband, an incredible father, as well as an amazing grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle and brother.
Russell had one child, Lori Reinhart Musson, who lives in Pottstown with her husband Bradley. He is also survived by one grandchild, Ashley Fronheiser, wife of Adam Fronheiser, of Gilbertsville, and two great-grandsons, Brody and Macsen Fronheiser. And his grand-dog, Lillian Basset Hound. He was affectionately known as ‘Grampy’ to all of them.
In addition to his beloved wife, Dorothy Matthews Reinhart, to whom he was married for 52 years, he was pre-deceased by three brothers, Lester Reinhart, of Pottstown, John Reinhart, of Red Hill, PA, Roy Reinhart, of Pennsburg, PA, and two sisters, Ruth Reinhart Kline, of Quakertown, and Fern Reinhart Bytheway, of Florida.
Visitation will take place on Tuesday, July 3, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. at the Houck & Gofus Funeral Home, Inc., 955 N. Charlotte Street, Pottstown, PA 19464. A Life Celebration will follow at 11:30 a.m. Entombment will take place after the service at Highland Memorial Park Mausoleum.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Russell’s memory to First United Methodist Church, 414 High Street, Pottstown, PA 19464. Online condolences may be made to the family at www.houckgofusfuneralhome.com.