Community mourns former Downingtown teacher who lost battle with COVID despite vaccination – Daily Local

DOWNTOWN – The joy is endless.

And a joyful life expressed in a person’s character and deeds can change the world. And while Howard Reinard Jr. was a star player in the lives of his beloved family members and cherished friends, he was also a teacher and umpire in the Greater Philadelphia area, impacting the lives of young people with lessons. inspiration, courage and perseverance for decades.

Joe Jackson was Reinard’s best friend for 40 years and another football official.

“The umbrella is the golden rule, ‘Do to others what you would like others to do to you’ – he was a model of it – he modeled it,” Jackson said on Saturday.

“His religious background – his faith – his family. We should all do to others what you would like others to do to you. Treat others the way you want to be treated. He illustrated it in every way, ”Jackson said.

Jackson said Reinard always goes the extra mile as a friend. “He was reliable. He was a positive person. He never complained. He’s always been helpful, ”said Jackson of West Whiteland Township. “I could always call on him.
Jackson added, “He’s always been there for me.”

They worked together on the pitch as referees for over 40 years. Jackson said he always speaks to young people in a respectful and helpful way to help others.

Longtime Chester County resident Reinard – whose nickname was “Howie” – died on October 20. Reinard was a retired teacher from the Downingtown School District.

He was surrounded by the love of his family, said his daughter, Kim Reinard-Immersi of Morgantown.

“He loved to dance,” Reinard-Immersi said of his father.

Reinard was 78 years old.

Until last spring he had always been active and athletic, running around the neighborhood to stay in shape as a youth referee. In fact, he would run backwards for miles in order to stay in shape for refereeing.

On October 8, Reinard and his wife, Kelly Reinard, were diagnosed with COVID-19. Both had been fully vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and took extra precautions in their daily lives, her daughter said.

Over the days, Howard’s condition worsened. On October 11, he was rushed to hospital where doctors determined he was suffering from very severe COVID pneumonia and was immediately sent to intensive care. Reinard-Immersi set up a GoFundMe page during this time to help cover medical and other essential expenses incurred as a result of the emergency.

He died a few days later. Reinard did not have life insurance. At the time of going to press, the campaign had raised $ 10,155 of its goal of $ 15,000, thanks to generous contributions from 95 donors.

“I am very grateful,” his wife, Sara Jane “Kelly” Reinard said Friday.

As to what is the key to a beautiful marriage, she said, “It takes patient and kind love.”

She added, “For me honesty is the key. And if you can communicate and are honest, you can make it right. “

They shared 28 years of marriage.

For now, she said, “The Lord gives me peace.”

Prior to meeting Kelly, in 1969, Howard traveled to Guam as part of an educational program where he taught children living at Anderson Air Force Base, where he met his first wife Dominick Immersi II. , the mother of Reinard-Immersi. He was also the stepfather of Kelly’s two daughters, Mary Kay Vasold of Lancaster and Beth Zurcher of Chester Springs. He is also survived by his grandchildren Courtney, Hailey, DJ, Lily, Tori and Hunter.

In 1975 Howard returned from Guam to Chester County and began his career in the Downingtown School District where he taught as a sixth grade social studies and math teacher.

He taught first at Brandywine Wallace, then at Old East Ward and ended his 26-year teaching career in the public school system at West Bradford Primary School.
However, after his retirement, Howard had not finished teaching and empowering young people to flourish. He was first employed by the Chester County Intermediate Unit as a courier and later worked there as a member of the Special Events team.

Born in Philadelphia, Reinard was the son of the late Reverend Howard M. Reinard Sr. and Margaretta (McIlvaine) Reinard. Reinard graduated from Downingtown Senior High School in 1960. He was also a graduate of West Chester University, where he received his Bachelor of Education in 1964 and later his Masters in the same field.

Reinard was the summer camp director at Camp Linden in West Chester for many years. In this role, Reinard was instrumental in introducing the children of downtown Philadelphia to the beautiful countryside of Chester County.

Reinard enjoyed Philadelphia sports, bowling, men’s softball, and training at the YMCA.
But more importantly, he loved participating in programs that helped children. Howard was the director of Camp Linden’s summer camp in West Chester for many years.

He was instrumental in bringing the kids of downtown Philadelphia into the beautiful Chester County countryside, his daughter Reinard-Immersi said.

He was also very fond of his dog, named Lady girl, his family said.

Reinard-Immersi said his father’s real passion was football, having been a referee for over 50 years. He started refereeing football on the island of Guam and after returning to the United States he continued his love of football and became a member of the PIAA.

The Chesco native then began officiating and assigning for the local youth league Bert Bell where he was a mentor to many.
Reinard later served and was assigned to the Ches-Mont League, Central League and Suburban Philadelphia Football Officials Association, as secretary and then treasurer, a position he held until his death.

He touched the lives of everyone he came in contact with; officials, coaches, players, administrators and parents, his family said.

At a celebration of Reinard’s life on Saturday at Grace Covenant, an evangelical Presbyterian church in West Whiteland, arbitrators from across the greater Philadelphia area were in attendance dressed in their black and striped uniforms to honor their friend.

“He was a guy from Downingtown,” his daughter Reinard-Immersi said. “That’s where his heart was.

His mother died less than 37 days before his father.

“Over the years my mother and father have remained very good friends,” Reinard-Immersi said, adding that his father had sat by his mother’s bedside before her death to keep her company.

“He didn’t want her to be alone,” Reinard-Immersi said. “It’s so powerful for me.”

Reinard-Immersi said his mother-in-law had befriended his mother for many years and that they spent all the holidays together.

Memorial contributions on behalf of Howard Reinard can be made at Camp Linden, 1306 S. Reese Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147. To donate to the GoFundMe family campaign, visit: f / touchdown-for- Howard-Reinard.

In 2019, Howard Reinard Jr. serves as match day referee for the Downingtown Young Whippets. At a wedding celebration, the family unites for a special moment together, from left to right, Kim Reinard-Immersi, Howard Reinard Jr., Marc Zurcher, Beth Zurcher, Mary Kay Vasold and Kelly Reinard.
Howard Reinard Jr. (left) joins other match day referees to support local youth who played sports with the Downingtown Young Whippets two years ago.

About Mark A. Tomlin

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