Melvin N. “Mel” Reining
Hastings resident Melvin N. “Mel” Reining, 72, passed away Wednesday, September 13, 2023, at his home.
Rosary will be at 7 p.m. Monday, September 18, at Butler Volland Chapel. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday, September 19, at St. Cecilia Catholic Church in Hastings with Father Thomas Brouillette officiating. Burial will be at Parkview Cemetery in Hastings. Visitation will be 1-8 p.m. with family present 5-7 p.m. Monday, September 18, at the funeral home, and one hour before the service at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Hastings Catholic Schools or Wellspring Pregnancy and Health Center. The service will be live-streamed on Livingston Butler Volland Funeral Home’s website. To view the service, go to Mel’s obituary and click the play button shown towards the bottom of the page. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.lbvfh.com. Livingston Butler Volland Funeral Home & Cremation Center is serving the family.
Mel was born October 13, 1950 in Hastings, NE to Norbert and Bessie (Herbek) Reining. He graduated from St. Cecilia High School in 1968 and received his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Kearney State College. Mel married Marcia Clark on October 8, 1977, at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Hastings.
Mel began employment at Montgomery Wards in 1969 and worked his way up to department manager in several areas in the store (paint, hardware, lawn & garden and toys) until it’s closing in 1985.
In 1986, Mel started 36 years of unmatched, loyal and dedicated employment at Hastings Catholic Schools. He worked hard in maintenance and as custodian at keeping the buildings looking their best and making sure that everything was operational. Mel was the custodian at St. Michael Elementary until 1993, where he was instrumental in helping replace all 157 windows in the old school (which is now the current Police Station). From 1994 until his retirement in 2017, Mel worked at St. Cecilia’s Middle & High School, both in the school and the gym buildings, doing daily cleaning after both the school day and sporting events. In 2000, Mel received the Outstanding Alumni Award from Hastings Catholic Schools for his dedication and work for the school.
Mel got his bus license in 1988, and over the last 34 years, positively impacted thousands of lives in driving them on the daily bus route, on field trips or to sporting events. He was well known for his saying of, “Sit down in the back!” as well as handing out candy to the kids “just because” … and not just the mini size candy – but king size! Mel retired from driving bus this past November of 2022 due to his declining health, but the desire to drive bus never left him, even til the very end.
Mel really enjoyed all the school kids he encountered as both custodian and bus driver and remembered their names and faces. He was always willing to be on call for a student who might have forgotten their homework, or if a bus was running late after a sporting event, he would make sure the gym was unlocked and the lights were on.
In addition to his full-time job, Mel also spent time on the evenings and weekends doing odd jobs of mowing lawns, trimming hedges, and painting houses, and when they were old enough, he brought his children to work with him, teaching them these skills and the
value of hard work. When Mel wasn’t working, he loved spending time outdoors in his flowerbeds and vegetable gardens.
Mel took his faith very seriously. He was a daily mass-goer and had a weekly Holy Hour in the early morning. He would spend many Sundays as Acolyte up on the altar at Mass, as well as during the school year for daily Mass. Mel had the privilege of being a Eucharistic Minister who would take Holy Communion to the homebound or in nursing homes. He was a member of St. Michael’s Catholic Church & Knights of Columbus Third Degree. He taught 4th Grade CCD for many years. He also taught many people about the value of suffering and offering it up.
Mel’s ultimate pride and joy was his family. He loved his wife and kids very much, but his greatest achievement was being a grandpa to his 10 grandchildren. To quote Saint Mother Teresa, “If you want to change the world, go home and love your family,” and he took that to heart.
Melvin was preceded in death by his parents and two infant children.
Wife: Marcia Reining – Hastings, NE
Children & Spouses: Amanda & Josh Frasier – Hastings, NE
Natalie & Rick Everett – Hastings, NE
Jacinta Schultz – Hastings, NE
John & Sarah Reining – Hastings, NE
Grandchildren: Luke Frasier
Sister & Spouse: Jeanette & Richard Traudt – Parker, CO
Brother & Spouse: Ken & Jalayne Reining – Lincoln, NE
Mother-in-law: Alice Clark – Hastings, NE
Many Nieces, Nephews, and other extended family