Cover photo for Robert "Bob" Edward Reinert's Obituary
1935 Robert 2023

Robert "Bob" Edward Reinert

January 4, 1935 — February 16, 2023

Athens, Georgia

Dr. Robert Edward Reinert, 88, of Athens, passed away on February 16, 2023. Born on January 4, 1935, in Chicago, IL, he was the son of the late Margaret Minsch Reinert and Willard D. ‘Mac’ Reinert. Mac took Bob on his first fishing trip, and it developed into a life-long passion.  Somewhere along the way, Bob decided to make fish his life’s work. Bob was raised on the Southside of Chicago, where he attended South Shore High School; he spent summers fishing lakes in Wisconsin with his best friend, Jimmy Kelly. During his senior year, he was entranced by a beautiful blonde by the name of Shirley Larson. After graduating in 1953, Bob attended the University of Idaho on a basketball scholarship but transferred after the first year to the much closer Ripon College in Wisconsin to be reunited with Shirley. In college, he spent his summers working and studying fish biology and limnology at the University of Michigan Biology Station.  He applied to the graduate program at the University of Michigan after graduating from Ripon. He and Shirley were married, and they moved to Ann Arbor to begin life in grad school.  In 1959, and two-thirds through his master’s degree, Bob was drafted into the United States Army and was stationed at Fort Sam Houston in Texas. After serving his 18-month tour in the Army, he returned to the University of Michigan to complete his Master’s and went on to earn his Ph.D. in Fisheries.

Following graduation, Bob spent the early years of his career as a federal scientist at the Great Lakes Fisheries Lab in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he and fellow researchers studied the devastating effects of DDT on fish and other wildlife. The pesticide was finally banned in 1972, due in part to the research Bob and his colleagues conducted. Bob came to the University of Georgia in 1975 as the Leader of the Georgia Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, where he taught as an adjunct professor at UGA’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. In 1979, he joined the Warnell faculty full time to coordinate the fisheries program and continue his research in aquatic toxicology. He taught classes, including the “fish” part of Introduction to Fish and Wildlife Management. He taught and mentored students for 27 years and was honored on several occasions for teaching excellence, including the 1983 Xi Sigma Pi Professor of the Year, the 1988 Gamma Sigma Delta’s Outstanding Teaching Award, and the 1999 Faculty Award for Outstanding Teaching from the WSFR Alumni Association. Bob also received the ’Reluctant Retiree’ award for announcing his retirement, sticking around for another year, and then announcing again.  He finally retired in 2001 but returned to teach the “Fish Senses” portion of Fish Physiology several years thereafter.

Bob was an avid fisherman and enjoyed talking about fishing as much as actually doing it.  He loved reminiscing about his favorite fishing spots, from Bend, Oregon to Lake Oconee. Even while traveling abroad with Shirley, he regaled fellow travelers with stories of drop-shotting for smallmouth bass in Rainey Lake (Ontario). Frescoes and ancient sculptures could not capture his interest like the rocky leeward shoreline of an island on a northern lake. Bob also enjoyed introducing others to the sport of fishing and enthusiastically invited others to join him on his fishing adventures.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by the love of his life, whom he was married to for 64 years, Shirley Elizabeth Reinert. He is survived by his children, Dr. Thomas Reinert (Libby), Jennifer Morris (Kem); grandchildren, Hayden Morris and Hailey Morris.

A celebration of life will be held on Sunday, March 12, 2023, beginning at 2:30 pm at Flinchum’s Phoenix of the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, 650 Phoenix Rd, Athens.

In lieu of flowers, please honor Bob’s memory by taking a kid fishing. You may also support the Warnell school and its students with a donation made In Memory of Dr. Bob Reinert. Please contact Bridget Harden (bharden@uga.edu) for options.

Lord & Stephens Funeral Home, EAST, Athens is entrusted with arrangements. www.lordandstephens.com.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Robert "Bob" Edward Reinert, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

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Celebration of Life

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Starts at 2:30 pm (Eastern time)

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