LIVINGSTON, NJ — A bronze plaque was recently unveiled and two park benches were dedicated to Haines Memorial Pool as a tribute to Laurance “Butch” Reinhardt, a longtime supervisor at the Livingston Department of Public Works who passed away in October. According to the team at Livingston’s Senior Youth and Leisure Services (SYLS) and the Livingston Healthy Community Healthy Youth (HCHY) committee, dedicating this plaque in his honor will ensure that Reinhardt’s leadership and dedication to the Livingston community will not be forgotten.
An additional matching plaque is also located in the main entrance at Northland Pool. The two park benches also donated—one for each of the two community pools with a bronze plaque memorializing Reinhardt—have been made possible due to generous donations from his friends and colleagues within the community. Anyone desiring to make a donation may send a check payable to Livingston HCHY, PO Box 105, or drop it off at Livingston SYLS Office at the Senior Community Center located at 204 Hillside Ave indicating “Butch Memorial” in the note section of the check.
“Those who knew Butch, he was a very humble and quiet man who had responsibilities to provide services for many of the recreational programs and community activities enjoyed by everyone, most of which were all completed behind the scenes,” said Livingston Athletics and Aquatics Supervisor Ken Lomax. “He never looked for or expected praise—never wanted to be in the spotlight—just did what he could to make things happen.”
Those who knew Reinhardt describe him as a man respected by his co-workers and friends, who always knew they could and did go to Reinhardt for information and assistance. According to Alan Karpas, another Livingston resident know for her service to the town, the word “no” was not in Reinhardt’s vocabulary during his 30 years of service to the Township of Livingston.
“Any time we needed anything, no matter what day, what time, we knew we could call him and he’d be there,” said Karpas. “It was just unbelievable, we’re all going to miss him.”
Reinhardt was responsible for the set-up and take-down of most of the major recreation and township events including fan-favorites like the Memorial Day ceremonies, 4th of July activities, Youth Appreciation Week and the Easter Egg Hunt to name a few. Many also knew him as the man behind the opening, mechanical operation and closing of both community pools each summer.
Reinhardt was on call 24/7 and was often called in the late hours of the day and night to respond to the Force Home, the old Recreation Building and the pool alarms—as the township knew he was the man to go to get things done.
“Many times he was called away from dinners with his family and from watching his Yankees on TV on Saturday or Sunday afternoons,” said Lomax. “He was a hard worker and truly dedicated to his job and the Township of Livingston.”
According to Lomax, Reinhardt was also an American hero who served the country in Vietnam and was awarded two Purple Hearts. Lomax recalled a few years back when Livingston was paying tribute to the residents of the community who received a Purple Heart on the Oval, where “Butch” was present not to be recognized, but to set up and take down the equipment needed for the event. Lomax said Reinhardt’s name was called and, as was his custom, he shied away not wanting to be recognized for his service.
In honor of the humble man who left his mark on this town, any surplus funds will be given to HCHY in Reinhardt’s name to continue his work in “making things happen for the community.”