A Mass of Christian Burial for Richard E. Reinnagel, an engineer, inventor and scientist, was offered today in Annunciation Catholic Church, 7580 Clinton St., Elma. Burial was in Annunciation Cemetery.
Reinnagel died unexpectedly Thursday (Dec. 23, 1999) in his Derby home. He was 80.
Born in Buffalo, Reinnagel graduated magna cum laude from Syracuse University in 1942 with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering.
During World War II, Reinnagel was involved in developing high-tech communication equipment for the war effort. After the war, he worked in civil defense, designing early-warning systems.
In the mid-1950s, Reinnagel went to work for the former Cornell Aeronautical Lab, which eventually became Calspan Corp., as a research scientist. He was chief engineer for the Lacrosse missile project. He also worked on many top-secret projects until his retirement in 1980.
Reinnagel was an inventor and held several patents. In addition, he was a member of the scientific staff of the Erie County Sheriff's Department. On occasion, he was called on to serve as an expert witness in court cases.
Reinnagel was known for his intellect and reasoning. He enjoyed bicycling, woodworking, photography and traveling.
He was an active member of Annunciation Church and was instrumental in the planning, development and building of the church, rectory and parish hall.
He served as president of the church's Holy Name Society, president of the Home School Guild, chairman for the past 15 years of the annual picnic and chairman of the church's Building Committee. He also served as parish business manager.
Reinnagel was honored with the St. Joseph the Worker Award in 1989.
Survivors include his wife of 56 years, the former Marilyn Seebach; three sons, Roger of Erie, Pa., Alan of Rochester and Neal of East Aurora; seven grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.