Carson City Lions honor ‘veteran’s veteran’ as its citizen of the year

By Mike Taylor • Last Updated 10:41 am on Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Carson City Lions Club member Tom Wilcox, left, who chaired this year’s Community Recognition Night, introduces Citizen of the Year Bob Reinsmith. — Daily News/Mike Taylor

CARSON CITY — Hearing Carson City residents recollect the life of Bob Reinsmith, one can’t help but think, this is a guy you’d like to know.

It’s quickly apparent Reinsmith deserves the honor bestowed upon him Tuesday evening at St. Mary’s Hall, that of Citizen of the Year. Each year, the Carson City Lions Club hosts its Community Recognition Night, in which groups, students and individuals who tirelessly serve the city are recognized for their efforts.

Reinsmith, a bus driver for Carson City-Crystal Area Schools, was selected for this year’s top honors because of his decades of volunteerism in the community serving with the American Legion and other organizations.

According to Lion Tom Wilcox, who was chairman of he event, Reinsmith, a veteran of the Vietnam War, has been active in Carson City since the early 1970s.

“Reinsmith is a lifelong resident of the Carson City area and has served the community in many ways over the years,” Wilcox said. “In addition to his activities with the American Legion, he has been a hunter safety instructor for hundreds of area youths. He has provided a helping hand in many community projects over the years and has been an important contributor to the Carson City area.”

Bob Reinsmith was honored Tuesday evening at the Carson City Lions Club annual Community Recognition Night. Reinsmith was awarded the Citizen of the Year honor. — Daily News/Mike Taylor

Wilcox said the selection process is handled by Lions Club members, who vote on each nominee. The process is sometimes difficult, he said, but never disappointing, owing in large part the caliber of nominees presented each year.

“The nice thing is, it’s hard to make a bad decision,” Wilcox said. “They’re all quality people.”

Several of Reinsmith’s friends commented on this year’s winner following the dinner. All noted his propensity for playing practical jokes.

Co-worker Dennis Lance, remembered the day when he and several coworkers managed to trap Reinsmith in a cardboard box and seal it shut with tape. Ever resourceful, Reinsmith cut his way out with a pocket knife.

Neil Kapustka, of the American Legion in Carson City, called Reinsmith a “veteran’s veteran” for all the work he does with the group.

Ried Martin, not only a friend but a pastor in Carson City, recalled a fishing trip during which Reinsmith tried repeatedly to talk the pastor into having “a beverage” on the boat. Martin refused, but still remembers the episode fondly.

“When they asked me to speak, the only thing I was really puzzled about is why they would want a preacher to talk about Bob,” Martin said. “Bob’s practical jokes are scary at times, but he has a good side to him.”

Martin related a story in which Reinsmith took him turkey hunting and just as the pastor was about to shoot his first big Tom, Reinsmith stood up and loudly declared, “Well, I don’t think they’re coming.” Martin’s Tom took off in a hurry.

Finally, Reinsmith’s daughter, Lynn Reeder, said a few heartfelt words about her father.

“I’ve always been proud to be the daughter of Bob Reinsmith,” Reeder said. “Everywhere I go, people know him, because he puts himself out there … He will help anyone who needs it. He loves his community and the people in it. (It’s good to) know you have seen what I’ve seen all along.”

Reinsmith’s own comments, after receiving the award, were brief.

“I’d like to thank the Academy,” he said, smiling. “Um, I mean the committee for this honor. I try not to take things too seriously. I like to have a good time every time and I keep a smile on my face so nobody knows what I’m up to. But thank you, Lions Club. I don’t know what to say. It’s been a real privilege.”

In addition to Reinsmith, the Lions Club also honored other Citizen of the Year nominees, including Joanne Howard, Chuck Larkins, Trisha Sailor and Nancy Woodcock.

This year’s top academic seniors also were recognized. To qualify as a Top Academic Senior, a student needs to maintain a grade point average of 3.75 or higher throughout their four years of high school. This year’s Top Academic Seniors were Tyler Craig, Adeline Hummel, Lindsay McClintic, Elizabeth McCrackin, Ellen McCrackin, Scott Postema, Rhett Pringle, and Michael Yeomans from Carson City-Crystal High School and Hannah Burtch, Kara Oding and John Kim from Fellowship Baptist Academy.

Finally, the Carson City Garden Club was recognized as this year’s service group. The Lions also awarded honors to Carson City Lumber, iWi Med Spa and SwagArt in this year’s business recognition category.

This is the 21st year the Community Recognition Night has been held in Carson City.

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