Melva Marie Dollenger Reinisch, 85, passed away Sunday, January 7, 2018 at Westchester of Winter Park in Winter Park, Florida.
Melva was born October 23, 1932 in Baltimore Maryland to the late Louis and Bessie Dollenger. Melva was the youngest of four children.
In addition to her parents, Melva was preceded in death by her husband Donald Law Reinisch, her brothers Louis Dollenger II, Earl Dollenger, and her sister Annabel Dollenger Milanitz.
Melva Reinisch is survived by two sons, Randall Reinisch and wife Laura Reinisch of Richland, Washington; Roger Reinisch and wife Ann Reinisch of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; two daughters, Donna Mashburn and husband John Mashburn of Adamstown, Maryland and Lisa Gingo and husband George Gingo of Mims, Florida; eleven grandchildren, Ashley Cummings, Zachary Reinisch, Matthew Reinisch, Carson Reinisch, Lori Mashburn, Joshua Mashburn, Rachel Dzik, Lydia Mashburn, James Gingo, Luke Gingo and Isabella Gingo, five great grandchildren, as well as many wonderful nieces and nephews.
Melva’s life was a full one. She loved God, her family and friends, a job well done and play.
Melva delighted in attending church from the time she was a girl in the Highlandtown area of Baltimore. She reveled in singing the old hymns with gusto all her life.
Melva graduated from Patterson Park High School in Baltimore in 1948. She and Don were married Saturday, the fifteenth of October 1955, at Salem E.U.B. Church.
Melva’s last home church was Aloma in Orlando Florida. At Aloma, Melva’s band of girlfriends were committed to caring for and encouraging each other through the golden years while still making time for fun by celebrating birthdays, going to movies and playing games. Melva so loved to play games that if the ladies found themselves chatting late into the evening and ready to call it a night – Melva would mournfully protest “What, we aren’t going to play games?!” And soon the cards would be on the table.
With family it was the same - Faith in God and having some fun, too. Family dinners at Red Lobster and The Olive Garden were on the top of her favorites list as well as intense Monopoly games with grandson James. Melva’s nieces recall earlier days of Sunday afternoon family get-togethers at Popie and Momma’s house with Aunt Melva joining the kids in a game of kickball while the charcoal grill heated up. When Melva’s fifth great grandchild was born: She prompted her granddaughter, “Promise me, you will take her to church.” It was in Church youth group that Melva had met her husband and through the tough times it was God’s word and determination that kept her going. Don passed in 1986.
Through the middle age years Melva lived and raised her family in Baltimore and North Carolina later moving wherever she was needed to help her children raise their children: Alabama, Texas, Pennsylvania, Michigan, California, Florida and even going overseas when her son was stationed in Germany. Here she was able to help with the grandbaby and still see a bit of Europe - even going to the Louvre, afterwards remarking: ”There are a lot of naked sculptures in there. ”
Melva was a hard worker all her life.
It was at one of those girlfriends’ game nights; while they were playing cards that she suddenly said, “I think I want a job.” “What?!” They all exclaimed. And that is just what she did – resuming her cashier career at the age of 72 she worked part time until 83 years old. Melva enjoyed the daily routine of work as well as the independence the job gave her and was pleased when her workmates gave her the nickname Mel. (She never did care for the name Melva.)
Melva’s final years were spent enjoying life as much as possible while battling health issues. She never gave up and never wanted to miss out on any fun gathering. (Or having her hair done at Anna’s Beauty Shop) From The Baltimore Dollenger family reunions to her granddaughter Ashley’s wedding in Texas Melva was there.
And now, all of us that knew her know she is with her good Lord Jesus boisterously singing with the angels and freely running and playing just like when she was a little girl.
It was not surprising to her loved ones that God took her home on a Sunday afternoon right after church.
A service is scheduled for 12 PM, on January 10, at Newcomer Funeral Home at 895 South Goldenrod Rd. in Orlando, Florida, with a viewing for friends and family at 11 AM. The service will be officiated by Aloma Church’s Associate Pastor Steve Parker.
The family would like to thank the compassionate staff at Westchester of Winter Park as well as the nurses and aids from Cornerstone for their loving care and support.
Memorial gifts may be sent to Aloma Church Winter Park, Florida.
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