Joseph Reinoehl of Lake Forest, California, passed away at the age of 73 on July 11, 2017. Joe is survived by his beloved wife, Eileen; their three children, Tiffany, Richard, and Steven; four grandchildren, Rain, Austin, Ashlyn, and Conner; siblings Katherine and Ted Kibbey, Jean and Bob Stolarski, Peggy Cooke, Tim and Patty Reinoehl, and sisters-in-law Shirley Reinoehl and Tania Reinoehl.
Joe grew up hunting small game in the woods and playing on the farmlands of rural Pennsylvania. While in grammar school, Joe started delivering newspapers. As a teen, he worked as a short-order cook at a restaurant associated with the local dairy farm, Avalong’s. Joe graduated from York Catholic High School in 1962, and enlisted with the United States Air Force.
Joe completed basic training at Lackland A.F.B. in Texas, and attended technical training or ‘tech school’ in Biloxi, Mississippi. (Joe really hated the humidity there!) Joe was then assigned to Otis A.F.B. on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Upon completing military service in 1966, he began a lifelong career in the aerospace industry that spanned almost 50 years. Joe officially retired at 70 years of age.
In December of 1965, Joe was Best Man at a friend’s wedding. That’s how Joe met the love of his life, Eileen, who was Maid of Honor. Over the following months, Joe and Eileen continued socializing at parties and dating, and they married in October 1966. Their first home was an attic apartment in Lexington, Massachusetts. About a year later, Joe and Eileen traversed America in a VW bug while towing a small U-Haul trailer, to start a new life together in sunny Southern California.
Joe and his family eventually settled in Saddleback Valley in 1971. Back then, the freeway entailed only two lanes separating scattered housing tracts, churches and other places of worship, and a few strip malls throughout the otherwise undeveloped landscape of southern Orange County. In 1977, Joe’s career relocated his family to a Maryland farming community. After the cross-country move, the crippling Blizzard of 1978 struck, the 17-year cicadas emerged that spring, and a nuclear reactor core had a partial meltdown at Three Mile Island the following winter.
Joe and his family hastily returned to Saddleback Valley in 1979 and joined the newly established parish, Santiago De Compostela Catholic Church. Fundraising to get the church built, teaching catechism, running booths at carnivals, participating in the Knights of Columbus, leading Marriage Encounter activities with Eileen, and attending a plethora of church events established Joe’s and his family’s Lake Forest roots and facilitated lifelong friendships. Joe always worked hard and supported his children’s childhood and high school activities. After their kids were grown and the nest empty, Joe and Eileen housed exchange students for several years. Joe and Eileen also tried living in few different places, but eventually decided Lake Forest was their true home.
Joe was diagnosed with a deadly cancer in April and will be laid to rest at El Toro Memorial Park. Joe had been retired about two years at the time of his passing, and his family grieves his sudden departure.