Colleagues remember John Reininger, Physical Plant painter

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John Reininger liked to talk.

“Everybody knew him as John the painter. And if you had a minute and he had a minute, he would talk,” said Gary Morton, maintenance supervisor at St. Edward’s.

Morton worked with Reininger for 22 years.

As students and professors are sitting in one of St. Edward’s buildings for class this semester, they might take a look around at the walls and stop to think about the work that went into them. Reininger, who worked at St. Edward’s for a little over 27 years, painted and plastered walls in most of those buildings, including the Maloney Room in Main Building.

Yet, Reininger’s job at St. Edward’s was more than that of a painter. He was a good carpenter. He was St. Edward’s campus photographer, with his photographs archived in the library. He was Santa Claus at the Festival of Lights and at campus Christmas parties. He was a co-worker and a friend.

He loved his Harley Davidson motorcycle. He was a scuba diver. He was an active member of Capital Cowboy Church. He knew how to make friends. He participated in Toys for Tots around Christmas. He would grow out his hair until it was long enough to donate, and he did this every couple of years until he started going gray.

From those who knew him best, Reininger would always be sure to ask how your day was going, and how you were doing.

“He’d definitely strike up a conversation. And on the way home that day, he said something like, ‘well you know, it’ll get better.’ You’d have to know his voice,” said Morton.

“He had a really long southern drawl,” said Brian Burns, director of facilities operation at St. Edward’s, who worked with Reininger for 11 years.

On April 24, 2014, just before the end of the spring semester, Reininger passed at his home in Mountain City, Texas. His years of hard work will continue to live on in many of the walls and buildings around campus, and the mark he left at St. Edward’s, and with the people he worked with, will never be forgotten.

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