The CoolRVers are actually a couple of retirees, Judy and Luke Rinehimer and our 5 year old German Shepherd Dog, Miss Shady Lady. We are "extended-time" travelers with a home in Cool, California. Thanks for following along with us as we travel North America in our "rolling condo", enjoying the RV lifestyle. Your comments are always welcomed.

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Friday, April 21, 2017

"R" IS FOR "RINEHIMERS" (#AtoZChallenge)

I'll keep this A to Z Challenge blog brief. The letter of the day is "R" so it is a chance to focus on the RINEHIMER FAMILY.


My husband Luke's formal name is "Luther", named after his father, Luther H. Rinehimer who was one of 17 children born to John C. Rinehimer and his two wives, Mable and Evelyn. As this 1925 photo shows, they were a large family and they all lived long lives. 

·       Front Row: LLoyd, Millard, Mabel (John C's second wife), Clifford, John C Rinehimer, Percy, Rita
Middle Row: Lulu, Clyde, Verna, Lawrence, Luther, Frank, Merrit, Evelyn

Back Row: John G Rinehimer (Dennis Whitebread's Grandfather), Clayton, Carleton, Lee— with Lulu, Llyod, Clyde, John G Rinehimer (Dennis Whitebread's Grandfather), Millard, Verna, Clayton, Mabel (John C's 2nd wife), Lawrence, Clifford

Hand-written photo identifications and the year of birth and age in 1925


I am not into tracing genealogy but in 2015 we had a chance to meet Luke's cousin Dave Rinehimer who has compiled an extensive paper-based Rinehimer family history.  He has also established a Facebook page for the Conrad Rinehimer Family Tree.


The Rinehimers pictured above lived in the northeast Pennsylvania area near the Susquehanna River and Wilkes-Barre areas in a small town called "Stairville".  While on our visit to PA in 2015 Luke's younger brother Dale took us on a drive down memory lane.  He was able to point out the original family homestead property and a trip to the local cemetery was an eye-opener.  To help future family historians I took photographs of all the related tombstones and also recorded their GPS coordinates in case landmarks disappear in the future. 

The original family farmhouse in Stairville, PA looks amazingly well.

The combined headstone for Luke's father and his older sister Judy who died at age nine from a bicycle accident.

The Rinehimer family name is still visible on local businesses in the Berwick, PA area.


Luke's mother, Ruth (Yeager) Rinehimer passed away in 2008 at about age 86.  She had lived with us in California for 10 years and helped raise our daughter Robin while I was working.  She was originally from the communities surrounding Berwick, PA and had returned home to care for her mother and then lived her remaining years near the rest of Luke's immediate family in Boyertown, PA.

We have returned to Luke's hometown of Berwick, Pennsylvania every five years since 1985 for his Berwick High School Class of 1960 reunions.  His younger brother Dale still lives in Berwick and their older brother Eugene (aka Gene) lives closer to Philadelphia in Boyertown, PA. 

Luke, Dale and Gene pictured together in 2015

Luke and his brothers were raised in the little resort town of Lake Nuangola, PA that was populated during the summer with New Yorkers who came to enjoy the lake area.  He attended a two-room school house, watched his Grandfather George Ruth enjoy life a little too much, and played in the trees around the lake like an active boy would do.  This was the family home before they moved to Berwick. His sister, Judy, died in a bicycle accident on the hill beside their home.  It was obviously a sad time.

Luke's Grandpa George Ruth, supposedly related to Babe Ruth, lived in this house in Lake Nuangola, PA.


2015 was also a time for the "cousins" to get-together.  Our daughter Robin and her family were on the East Coast for our grandson's baseball tournament in Cooperstown, NY so they used our car and we followed in the motorhome down to Boyertown, PA for a "Cousins Reunion".  

Brother Dale never had children but Gene and his wife Nikki have three grown children and seven grandchildren.  Our daughter Robin's closest cousin in age is Jane and her first two children are the exact same ages as our two grandsons. Over the years they have grown close and enjoy getting together by the family pool. Not all the cousins were present for this photo.

Robin, Jeff, and Jane held their own cousins' reunion.  Older cousin Jennifer missed this gathering.

So, you've met the RINEHIMERS of PA.  

The brothers are all in relatively good health and the next generation is staying in touch across the miles.  We'll plan our next trip with more family memories in 2020!


No matter how you feel about your extended family or family gatherings you will be attending. This is because now the ultimate reason for attending family gatherings is for your children to have the time of their lives with their cousins. Little kids love their cousins. I'm not being cute or exaggerating here. Cousins are like celebrities for little kids. If little kids had a People magazine, cousins would be on the cover. Cousins are the barometers of how fun a family get-together will be. Are the cousins going to be there? Fun!     Jim Gaffigan




Emily Bloomquist said...

I can't imagine raising 17 children! Even though the house looks big, it does not look 17-children big. I suppose they slept a few to a bedroom - not as common today.

Good idea to use GPS coordinates in the cemetery.

Emily | My Life In Ecuador

Molly of Molly's Canopy said...

A wonderful family history post about your husband's roots. Too bad you are not into researching your family, because you have done a wonderful job. I'm always pleased when a family member takes the time to provide a photo caption like the one shown here. I also have ancestors from Susquehanna County (Bull and Blakeslee), so this was an interesting read!