Martha H. Reid Reinhardt quietly departed from this life on January 28, 2020 at the age of 93. She was born on January 19th, 1927 to De Lafayette Reid DDS and Florence Miller Reid in Alton, Illinois.
Martha is survived by a half-brother, Robert Reid (GG) of Grand Haven, Michigan, a daughter, Reid Stroud of Fairview, Texas, two sons, Walter (Joan) of Austin, Texas, Clinton (Laurie) of The Colony, Texas, 7 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren.
She was proceeded in death by three brothers; De Lafayette, Sigmund and William Reid.
Martha worked as a teacher’s assistant in Special Education classrooms for the Alton public school system until she retired. She also volunteered for the Oasis Woman’s Crisis Center in Alton. A life-long member of the Evangelical United Church of Christ, she was a member of the consistory, taught Sunday school, was a leader of the junior youth fellowship and in the church choir for over 30 years.
Martha’s life revolved largely around the love for her church and family, her passion for music and her interest in caring for every living animal.
Martha was a very gifted musician. She majored in music at Millikin University, studied voice and was past junior choir director at her church. She once auditioned for the Muny opera in St. Louis. Martha was frequently a featured soloist in her church choir and at the Alton Municipal band concerts where she met her husband of 66 years, James Reinhardt. When she became a mother, she insisted that all three of her children learn an instrument and take piano lessons. Martha could play by ear and enjoyed playing requests from her grandkids and for the residents at Asbury Village in Godfrey where she resided for four years. Even after relocating to Texas from Illinois, her upright piano found a place in her tiny apartment. Familiar melodies would often spill out into the halls when she was moved to play for her own enjoyment. To her delight, the staff and residents always encouraged her.
Among friends and family, Martha was well known for her sense of humor. Being very active in the drama community, she was the past president of Alton Little Theater and a seasoned actress. You can never take the limelight out of a true comedian; at the age of 92, Martha surprised the audience at a fashion show by reprising her old role as a “cleaning lady” to poke fun at the staff and friends at The Oxford Grand in Texas.
In addition to music, Martha harbored a fierce appreciation for nature. She was a Girl Scout leader, loved camping, the outdoors and going barefoot. She, of course, was a gardener and her flower garden of roses, iris and daffodils was admired by many.
Visual arts was another of her passions. While living at The Oxford Grand Assisted Living in Mc Kinney, Texas, she inspired others by using watercolors in painting class. Many of her works reflected her love of nature and flowers. She also liked painting personal notes and cards for her friends. Her willingness to help others quickly got her assigned as an Ambassador to welcome newcomers to the facility.
While raising her family in the 1950’s in Illinois, she became recognized as the unofficial animal rescuer of Upper Alton. Fostering a rabbit, 3 abandoned raccoons, a duck, a Boxer and four orphaned skunks in her backyard was not unusual. She grew particularly attached to one skunk, Blossom, who became her personal pet for ten years. She skillfully combined the many comedy routines she wrote and performed throughout southern Illinois to include her pet skunk. Blossom was featured regularly as the punchline in her humorous skits.
Martha was extremely proud of her 7 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. Adam (Ana) Stroud, Erin Stroud, Zach Reinhardt, Ethan (Ingrid) Reinhardt, Rebecca Reinhardt, Miranda Reinhardt and Jacob Reinhardt as well as four great-grandchildren, Charlee Stroud, Dylan Stroud, Gabriel and Nicole Hentschel. They in turn adored her. Two of them play an instrument, all of them are animal lovers with a great sense of humor and several share her talent in the visual arts.
Visitation will be Saturday, February 22nd at 9:30 a.m. at Evangelical United Church of Christ in Godfrey, Illinois. Funeral Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. following visitation. Pastor Jerry MeCaskey will officiate. Burial will be private after the services. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Evangelical United Church of Christ music fund.