American Veteran 01

Gregory W. Reineke

December 30, 1942 ~ May 15, 2020 (age 77)

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Gregory William Reineke, age 77 of  Defiance, passed away on Friday morning, May 15, 2020 at CHP Defiance Area Inpatient Hospice Center.  

Greg was born on Dec. 30, 1942 in Defiance, Ohio.  He was the first of four boys born to the late Karl and Mildred Reineke.

He attended Slocum Elementary School, graduated from Defiance High School, attended Defiance College and International Business College in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.  He began his working career at the family business, Karl's Drive-In, where he worked for 18 years and met his wife Helen who survives.  He joined the Ohio Air National Guard 180th Tactical Fighter Group in 1962 and became a full time Air Technician for the unit in 1963 and served until 1970.

Greg and Helen Faye Forren were married on September 17, 1966 in the chapel of the First Presbyterian Church in Defiance, OH by Rev. John Meloy and Chaplin Donald Duncan of the 180th Tactical Fighter Group.  Greg always said that Helen was the rock in his life and had the patience of a saint.

Greg then began working at Johns Manville's Carpenter Road Plant as a Quality Control Technician.  Greg worked in various areas during his 32 years of service to Johns Manville.  He ended his career as Plant Manager of the Carpenter Road Plant in 1998 when he retired.

Greg was active in the community through participation in Junior Achievement, The Defiance Area Foundation, Defiance Park Board, Defiance High School Mentoring Program, and the Ayersville Swim Club.  In 2005, he received the Michael Schultz Leadership Award at the annual Defiance Area Chamber of Commerce.  He received the Bronze and Silver Achievement Awards for his work with Junior Achievement.

He was an avid tennis player, instructor and coach.  After retiring from Johns Manville, he became the Women's Tennis Coach at Defiance College from 1998 to 2006.  His teams were awarded All-American Status by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association for 7 straight years.  His teams also received the high GPA award  (Award given to the sports team on campus with the highest team Grade Point Average) at the Purple & Gold Banquet for 5 straight years.  He also assisted and coached the Defiance High School Girl's Tennis Team in 1997 and 1998.  In 2007, Greg chaired a small group that raised funds to add a 5th Tennis Court at the Defiance High Palmer Courts.  The court was completed in 2008.  Greg and Helen established the DHS Girl's Tennis Scholarship Fund thru The Defiance Area Foundation in 2014.  

Greg was a fifty plus year member of the First Presbyterian Church in Defiance, OH.  He was active as a Trustee and was a member of the Church Session and their Clerk of Session for 9 years.  He participated in the Coats for Christmas Project each year and transported youth of the church to Detroit for their Peto Mexico Mission Trips.

He is survived by his loving wife of 53 years, Helen Reineke of Defiance, two brothers, Roger (Marilyn) Reineke of Cincinnati, OH, and Douglas Reineke of Defiance, sister-in-law Mary Kay Reineke, and several nieces and nephews. 

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Gary Reineke, and sister-in-law, Cathy Reineke.

Visitation will be held from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon on Wednesday, May 20, 2020 at First Presbyterian Church in Defiance. A funeral service will follow at 12:00 noon at the church, with Pastor Ann Wasson officiating. For those wishing to attend, we ask that you maintain social distancing and encourage responsible virus protection measures while offering the family support. Burial will be private with Military Honors. Schaffer Funeral Home assisted the family with arrangements. 

Memorials can  be made to Defiance Area Foundation, or to a charity of the donor's choice. Online condolences can be given at

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Gregory W. Reineke, please visit our floral store.


May 20, 2020

10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
First Presbyterian Church (Washington Avenue, Ohio)

Funeral Service
May 20, 2020

12:00 PM
First Presbyterian Church (Washington Avenue, Ohio)

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