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Surrounded by his children and grandchildren, Jack (Harold) Reinhart, loving husband and devoted father, passed away on Tuesday, May 8.
Jack was born August 31, 1920 on the family farm in the pastoral town of Carey, Ohio. He was the first born of Linus and Esther and as such he embraced his role as the eldest of seven children with devotion and perseverance. Jack often spoke with great respect for both his parents, attributing his unwavering faith, his devotion to his family, and his German work ethic to Linus and Esther. He described life on the farm with his trademark pragmatism: “We just accepted it. Everyone was living that way. No one complained. We accepted life, took the best, and moved on. We did not let the little things bog us down.”
Harold, a bright, hard-working student, attended Ohio State University, and received his degree in agricultural education. His career as a teacher was short-lived. World War II started and Jack believed it was his duty to serve in the military. In 1942 he enlisted in the navy, was sent for officer’s training at Princeton University, and later became a lieutenant JG. As an officer on the aircraft carrier, the Kadashan Bay, Jack was stationed in the Pacific Theater.
Before leaving for the war, Jack married his beloved wife, Mary Frances, on July 14, 1943. For nearly seventy-five years Mary remained the love of Jack’s life. They had twelve children together, seven girls and five boys. Those who know them understand that after experiencing a war, surviving the sixties revolution, raising a large family, watching parents and siblings pass away, moving house several times, and coping with the unexpected death of two beloved sons (Tom and Jimmy), Jack and Mary learned to gracefully accept hardship and grief. In telling the story of Jack, one must never lose sight of Mary, for she has been his soul mate and raison d’etre.
With Mary at his side, Jack had a very successful 40-year career at International Harvester. He traveled much of the country working in sales and marketing. To his co-workers he was known for his integrity and professionalism. To his customers, he was known for his warmth and dedication. When he retired Jack focused on his passion for gardening. He became more involved in St Anne’s parish. In his earlier years he served as lector and school board member. In his later years Jack was a member of the finance committee, an altar server at funerals, a Eucharistic Minister, and the right hand assistant for Mary who was also an avid volunteer at St. Anne’s.
Jack is survived by his loving wife Mary and ten of his twelve children: Mary Anne, Susan, Joan, Stephen, Julie, Josette, Marguerite, Theresa, Michael, and Peter. He is also survived by his sisters, Rita and Virginia and his brother, Bernie. Jack leaves behind twenty-nine grandchildren and twenty great grandchildren. A man of unfaltering faith and true conviction, Jack will be profoundly missed by all.
Visitation will be held at St. Anne’s chapel in Barrington from 9-11am on Monday, May 14. The funeral Mass will be celebrated by Father Britto Berchmans in the church immediately following the visitation. All friends and family are welcome to celebrate the life of this extraordinary, yet humble man.
Memorial donations can be made to the House of Hope, 120 N. Ela Street, Barrington IL 60010.