Richard Rainey Profile Photo
1930 Richard 2020

Richard Rainey

February 4, 1930 — February 26, 2020

Richard Rainey, 90, of Atlantic, Iowa, passed away Wednesday, February 26, 2020, at the Heritage House in Atlantic.

Richard Keith Rainey, son of Mary Victoria Smith and Leslie Sylvester Rainey, was born February 4, 1930, in Akron, Ohio. He was one of two brothers and two sisters. Richard graduated from Akron’s Hower Vocational High School. After graduation, Richard served in the Air Force for several years.

Richard applied the drafting and electrical construction skills he learned at Hower High School and Goodyear Rubber Company’s Electrical Apprenticeship program throughout his working career. He eventually became responsible for trouble shooting and repairing industrial welding platforms his employer’s sold in Canada, South America, Europe, and the then Soviet Union. Eventually moving to southern California, Richard worked for General Motors and Northrup Grumman. During his years at General Motors, he held joint ownership of five patents related to automated welding devices and techniques. At Northrup, Richard supervised electricians at a plant building top secret aircraft.

Richard always kept busy. When he wasn’t working overtime, he loved to square and round dance. After joining a new round dancing group as an experienced dancer, a woman in the beginner group caught his eye. He went back to the registration desk and changed his experience level to beginner so he could dance with her. That was the start of a 35-year relationship with his wife Arlene Covell, nee Schwartz, of Atlantic.

After retirement Richard and Arlene moved from California to Las Vegas, NV. To stay busy while Arlene played golf, Richard attended the Community College of Southern Nevada. He earned certificates in Air Conditioning repair, Real Estate, Electrical Service Technology, and an Associate in General Studies. One of his proudest achievements was being asked by the college to teach an introductory class on Material Science. Loving learning himself, he generously gave many extra hours to the College tutoring and counseling students who needed extra assistance with the class.

Richard and Arlene moved to Atlantic in 2001. He joined the Elks Lodge, served the Atlantic, Community as a member of the Lions Club, and was a driver for the Southwest Iowa Transit Agency for ten years. Learning he was one quarter Cherokee, Richard started learning the Cherokee language. Richard and Arlene also travelled with their fifth wheel camper across the US and as well as wintering in Texas.

Richard will be deeply missed by his family that includes his wife Arlene Rainey of Atlantic; daughter Ellen Mary Reardon; grandchildren Hannah and Olivia Reardon; step-children Alan Turner (California), Lisa Covell (California), John Covell (Arizona); nieces Susan Byrd (California) and Caprice Wright (Texas), Maxine Reynolds (Florida); nephews Larry Knopf (Ohio) and Christopher Tabbert (Montana); his lifelong friend Shirley Phifer-Watson; and extended family and friends.

He is preceded in death by his parents, brother Paul, sisters Eleanor and Evelyn, and stepson Philip Turner.

A graveside service for Richard will be held at the Atlantic Cemetery in Atlantic, IA, on Saturday, February 29, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. A celebration of life service will be held at a later date. Memorials may be given to the family and will be designated at a later date. Hockenberry Funeral home in Atlantic, IA is in care of the arrangements.


SERVICES Graveside Service

Saturday, February 29, 2020 10:00 AM - 10:45 AM

Atlanitc Cemetery ,

Graveside Service

Saturday, February 29, 2020 10:00 AM - 10:45 AM

Atlanitc Cemetery ,

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