Reinan a nice guy first, great athlete second [UPDATED]Published 3:47am Monday, July 15, 2013 Updated 7:19am Monday, July 15, 2013
Former 1957 Fergus Otter basketball star Curt Reinan, who died June 30 in Nevada, will be remembered as a truly nice guy. Over the years he was more interested in praising the accomplishments of others.
He compiled 462 points as a guard in 1956 to 1957, the year Fergus Falls High School finished 27-1 and took third place in the state boys basketball tournament. It came as no surprise when the 5 foot, 11 inch Reinan was named to the All-Tournament Team in March of 1957.
He was outstanding in the state classic, receiving cheers from crowds of 18,000 at Williams Arena on the campus of the University of Minnesota.
Reinan kept the fans stirring in their seats with his long jump shots. A regional TV audience also witnessed his athletic talents.
Reinan was elated when Otter star Mike Hilley broke his record in single-season points scored, back in the 1980s. He quickly reminded people that records, such as his, were made to be broken.
A dear friend is how teammates such as Chuck Weiss and other classmates from 1957 referred to Reinan. Memorial services are tentatively scheduled in Las Vegas for Aug. 3 and in Fergus Falls on Sept. 12.
At Fergus Falls High School, Reinan sought other interests in addition to basketball. In speech, his specialty was original oratory. Over the years he wrote well thought-out notes and e-mails to classmates and friends.
“Curt had wonderful handwriting,” said his brother John, of Fergus Falls.
Reinan was also a member of Norm Galloway’s famed football teams. He was named MVP in basketball his junior year, the season Fergus Falls finished with a 20-5 record and just missed a berth in the state tourney. He was elected homecoming king his senior year.
Reinan, Weiss, Roger Sinner, Jack Halland and their basketball coach Duane Baglien were reunited in 1986 when they were among the charter members inducted into the Fergus Falls Chamber of Commerce Sports Hall of Fame. The 1957 team photo is displayed at the hall of fame in the Kennedy Secondary School foyer.
Reinan played basketball at both Concordia College and Moorhead State, then started a 20-year career with the Air Force. He spent 10 years as a pilot, flying T-38 trainer and F-4 fighter aircraft. Reinan served seven years overseas, including one year in Vietnam and one year in Korea.
He later became a purchasing agent for GTE Corporation in Las Vegas. Reinan lived in relative proximity to his sister, Gaynell, a resident of the Bay Area in California.
He was highly supportive of Otter girls and boys basketball teams in recent years.
Of all the FFHS alums living all across the country and in different parts of the world, few if any expressed more support for current-day Otter athletics than Reinan.
This former Otter star may have passed on, but he’ll be long remembered, more for being a nice guy than for his athleticism.
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James J. Hill spoke at the county fair in Fergus Falls close to a century ago, which was then located at the site of what is now Kennedy Secondary School. The year was 1915.
Between 1883 and 1889, Hill built railroads across Minnesota, into North Dakota and westward to Montana. Four years later, he completed his Great Northern Railway, running from St. Paul all the way to Seattle, Wash. This covered a distance of close to 1,700 miles.
Hill did much of the route planning himself, traveling over proposed routes on horseback. This fact impressed many people who heard Hill speak in Fergus Falls at the county fair 98 years ago.
Hill, as noted by the Minnesota State Historical Society, operated model experimental farms in Minnesota to develop superior livestock and crop yields for the settlers locating near his railroads. He was also praised as a conservationist.