Reinald Werrenrath Jr.
Reinald Werrenrath Jr passed away on August 8, 2019 at Westminster Place/Presbyterian Homes, in Evanston Illinois. He was 104. He is survived by his wife Elizabeth (105), and they were happily married for 82 years. He attended Tabor Academy and Cornell University. His family includes his daughter Kirsten, and his sons Reinald III and Peter, in addition to many grand and great grand children, cousins, nieces, and nephews. Reinald was born in New York City on June 8, 1915 to notable American baritone Reinald Werrenrath and Ada Petersen Werrenrath.
Reinald was a television pioneer in his native New York City, and in 1940 he helped start the first experimental TV station in Chicago, WBKB (now WLS). He created, produced, and directed many of the earliest TV shows, including “Zoo Parade”, and “Ding Dong School”. Reinald served as a Navy Lieutenant Commander in World War II, as Fighter Director Officer aboard the aircraft carrier USS Cabot in the Pacific Theater, and later aboard the USS Oriskany during the Korean War.
After serving his country, Reinald resumed his career in television, and was involved in such projects as televising The 1964 Nobel Prize Award Ceremonies in Oslo and Stockholm, and The World Series of Golf . A long time human rights champion and education advocate, Reinald served as Chairman of the Highland Park Human Relations Commission, and as Chairman of the local school board. Reinald and Elizabeth teamed up to make over 100 educational films with nationwide distribution.After retirement, they kept busy connecting with people, traveling, and continuing to make educational films. In 1997, Reinald received the prestigious National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Chicago/Midwest Silver Circle Award.
Reinald remained active until recently, and will be missed greatly by all those who knew and loved him.
His family requests any donations to : The Geneva Foundation Fellowship Fund, at Presbyterian Homes, 3200 Grant St, Evanston, IL 60201
Published in a Chicago Tribune Media Group Publication on Aug. 12, 2019