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Lifetime of service: Hermine Reiring passes at 104

For The Madera Tribune Hermine Reiring.


After a life well lived, with a span of more than 104 years, Hermine Reiring (nee Sporcich) died Jan. 29, 2019, at her home at Cedar Creek with members of her family by her side.

Born to Mirko and Katherine Sporcich on Aug. 4, 1914, in Hammond, Indiana, she attended grammar school and graduated high school in 1931 in Indiana.

As America entered World War II, she enlisted in the United States Naval Reserves (WAVES) in 1942 and did her training at Naval Air Station Bunker Hill, Indiana, and in New York. Her posting in Southern California led to her meet her future husband Leonard Reiring. They married May 14, 1945, in Whittier, California. She separated from the service in September 1945, as the WAVES weren’t allowed to serve if married.

“She had attained the rank of Storekeeper 2 which no longer exists,” said granddaughter Kathy Reiring. “In today’s Navy, it equates to an E-5.”

The young couple set up housekeeping in Burbank where they lived for 15 years. They were blessed with three children, sons, Ron in 1946, Chuck in 1948 and daughter, Diane in 1951.

They moved to Madera in 1960 and, with Berry Construction, built a house at 1801 West Park Drive. Leonard always claimed he knew the location of every nail in the family home.

Hermine stayed home with her children, being room mother at their school while active in the PTA, Camp Fire and Cub Scouts.

In 1968, she took a part-time job working for the Madera County Administrative Office as a junior typist for $1.58 per hour, working four hours a day. She learned to run the county’s PBX telephone switchboard as a relief operator. She also worked in the administrative and personnel offices.

The following year Leonard and Hermine bought a local office supply store known as Madera Stationers. In addition to her hours at the county, she worked part of each day at the store as well. She was known to say she went to her county job to rest from the rigors of a retail shop.

After 16 years, she retired from the county in 1984 and they sold the stationary store to Jack and Paula Perialas.

They were married 44 years when her beloved husband Leonard died in 1989.

Hermine filled her days with ladies service clubs including being a charter member of the Emblem Club, and the Woman’s Improvement Club, serving as president and other officers in both. She enjoyed membership in the Birthday Breakfast Group, AARP and served as extra help in the Homes Arts Building at the Madera District Fair.

A founding and lifetime member of the Madera County Historical Society, she served as a docent in the Madera County Museum, said Kathy.

Continuing her relationship with friends from the Madera County Employees Association she enjoyed helping with its bake sales supporting the Christmas Baskets for the special needs children at the Norman Gould School.

“When grandma’s friends went into (long-term care at) area convalescent hospitals she would make frequent visits, taking them treats and bringing them to her home for holiday meals, Kathy said.

Hermine was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, sister, Velma Porok and son Chuck Reiring.

She is survived by her son Ron and wife Susan Reiring, daughter, Diane and husband Ray Davis, daughter-in-law, Joyce Reiring, eight grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.

Public graveside services with full military court honors will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 4, 2019, at Arbor Vitae Cemetery. This will be followed by a gathering at the United Methodist Church, 500 Sunset Avenue, Madera.

Instead of flowers, the family would appreciate memorial contributions be made in her name to the Madera County Historical Society, P.O. Box 150, Madera, CA 93639.


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