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313 Center St.
Phone: 419-281-2566, 1-800-430-2566
Fax: 419-281-4411
Janet Rinehart
In Memory of
Janet L.
1937 - 2018
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Obituary for Janet L. Rinehart

Janet L.  Rinehart
Janet L. Rinehart, 80

Janet L. Klingensmith Rinehart, 80 of Ashland, Ohio passed away at Wasen Rehabilitation Center at Brethren Care Village on June 14, 2018, eight weeks after being diagnosed with a Stage Three Brain Cancer.

Jan is survived by her three children, Melissa Hoffman of York, Maine, Melinda Ward of Ashland, Ohio and Todd Rinehart of Cincinnati, Ohio, her nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

In addition to her parents, Jan is preceded in death by the love of her life, Don Rinehart.

She was born on July 23, 1937 in Goshen, Indiana to the late Christine and J. Ray Klingensmith. She attended Ashland College, graduating with a degree in education in 1959. After marrying Don, the two moved to Tucson where she started her teaching career. The couple then returned to Ashland in 1961 so that Don could attend seminary, and Jan continued to teach elementary school. She taught elementary school for 34 years, primarily in Ashland City schools at Grant Street Elementary. She is beloved by generations of students for her humor, her gerbils, her piano playing, the bathtub reading nook and the teepee. She once lost a bet with one of her third grade classes and paid off that bet by standing on her head, singing the Star Spangled Banner while clicking her heels. She taught a total of 51 years and influenced thousands of lives for the better.

She earned her Masters in Education from Ashland University in 1979 and completed an additional 44 post-graduate credit hours. She earned a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship 1991 and continued to lecture and present on Middle East issues for many years after. In 2000, she joined the faculty at her beloved Ashland University where she supervised student teachers and taught elementary school methods, introducing hundreds of future teachers to the joy of teaching and the wonders of hatching quail eggs and butterflies, and the fun of archeology digs. Partnering with Don, she helped launch Ashland University’s Germany Study Abroad program, developing the elementary school experience where AU students taught English to German elementary school students. She was especially devoted to encouraging diversity through travel and personal relationships.

Above all, she loved the Lord, Jesus Christ, and her greatest passion was in the service of God by ministering to others. She earned the Board of Trustees Mentor Award four times, and was nominated for Faculty Member of the Year numerous times. In 2004, she and Don were awarded the Alumni Association’s Dr. Glenn L Clayton Award. She was absolutely devoted to Ashland University, dedicating the last decades of her life to the service of her students and her peers. She especially loved taking people to lunch or dinner and visiting with them, learning their stories and sharing some of her own. The students of Ashland University returned Mrs. Riney’s devotion by visiting her, texting and calling her for advice at all hours of the day and night.

Funeral services celebrating, Jan’s life will be held, Friday, June 22, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. in the Jack and Deb Miller Memorial Chapel at Ashland University, 456 College Avenue, Ashland, Ohio 44805 with Reverend’s Nate Bebout and Seth Hoffman and Dr. Carlos Campo officiating. Interment will be in Ashland Cemetery with her husband, Don. Friends may call Thursday, June 21, 2018 in the Ashland University Convocation Center, 638 Jefferson Street, Ashland, Ohio 44805 from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations be made to Brethren Care Village, 2000 Center Street, Ashland, Ohio 44805, Park Street Brethren Church, 619 Park Street, Ashland, Ohio 44805, the Ashland University Development Office, 401 College Avenue, Ashland, Ohio 44805, or to Hospice of North Central Ohio, 1050 Dauch Drive, Ashland, Ohio 44805.

For those who may not be able to attend, online condolences may be shared on the funeral home’s website at

Denbow-Gasche Funeral Home & Crematory is honored to being handle the arrangements for Mrs. Jan Rinehart.

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