Rev. John Roderick Rinell, Sr. (1928-2018)
Rev. Rod Rinell, Sr. died peacefully December 5, 2018 with his wife, Pat, and their children at his side singing hymns, at Portland Care and Rehab Center, after suffering a major stroke on November 1st. He was born May 12, 1928 in Jamestown, N.Y., the son of the late Carl A. Rinell and Veronica A. Rinell. He was predeceased by his younger brother, Kermit Rinell and his younger sister, Beverly R. Aument. He was graduated from Frewsburg (N.Y.) High School and from Houghton College,(N.Y.) and Wesley Theological Seminary in Westminster, Md. He later attended Augustana Seminary in Rock Island,Ill., and the Lutheran Seminary in Philadelphia, Pa.
He was ordained in 1954 in the Augustana Lutheran Church which later became part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. He married his wife, Pat,in 1954 and accepted a call to Maria Lutheran Church in Dagus Mines, Pa, that same year. He served as Pastor of Hope Lutheran Church in Palatka, Fla., and later was called to Bethlehem Lutheran Church in East Hampton where he served as Pastor for 28 years. He is survived by his wife, Janice (Pat), and their children, Rod, Jr. and Sherry Rinell of Wallingford, Janice and John Melland of Fargo, N.D., Timothy and Holly Rinell of East Hampton. and Stephen and Diane Rinell of Bryan, Ohio; and by their grandchildren Lindsay and Jeremy Scott, Melissa and Josh Knickerbocker, Rebecca and Brian Mischak, Chloe Rinell, John-Krist and Jen Melland, Elizabeth and Chad Cantone, Eric and Tonya Melland, Kate and Anthony Novotny, Bethany and Aaron Niderno, Dan and Katelyn Rinell, Randy Rinell, Blake Rinell, Scott and Brittany Rinell; and by twenty-two great grandchildren. He was active in East Hampton politics and served as Chairman of the Board of Finance and also served on the Board of Selectman. He was active in the East Hampton Art Association and served as its President for a term. He had many hobbies and interests, the main one being, building his own retirement home on Mott Hill! He built several canoes, was a potter, a gardner (growing much of the food they consumed!), a violinist, an artist, a sculptor, a hunter, a fisherman and he enjoyed cooking and baking. He also enjoyed hiking and canoeing in the Adirondack Mountains of NY. Calling hours will be at the Spencer Funeral Home in East Hampton on Sunday Dec.9 from 3:00 until 5:00.A Memorial Service will be held at Bethlehem Lutheran Church on Monday, Dec.10 at 11:00. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Organ Repair Fund.