Reinagels Honored with 2022 Annunciation Award

“I try to live my life through my faith,” says Ray Reinagel, ’76, who, along with his wife Lisa, ’77, of Kelso, Missouri, are 2022 recipients of Notre Dame Regional High School’s (NDHS) prestigious Annunciation Award.

“God has put us on this earth to serve others and be a positive influence on others,” he said. “That is what I have always tried to do.”

The honor was bestowed on the Reinagels by the NDHS Education Fund Foundation on October 14 at the Acts of the Apostles Dinner at the Jackson Civic Center. The award is presented annually to individuals who have devoted immeasurable time, talent or treasure to sustain Catholic secondary education in the community and whose presence, by word and deed, has enriched the lives of the students of Notre Dame and served as an example for all.

“Any time you are recognized by an organization, it is a special moment,” Ray said. “With the prestige of the Acts of the Apostles, we are humbled and honored.”

Ray is assistant store manager of RP Lumber in Kelso, formerly Kelso Supply, a full-line lumberyard business founded by his father and brother, Tom, in 1972. Lisa is a homemaker after spending a decade employed by Walmart followed by many years as a stay-at-home mom.

Ray partnered with Tom in the family business in 1985, continuing operations till they sold it to RP Lumber in 2016. While ownership of the business changed, Ray continues to assist in managing the store.

He credits his time as a Notre Dame student for teaching him the skills he’s put to use to succeed professionally.

“I wasn’t a very studious individual, but what helped me the most was close friendships, discipline from both teachers and coaches, and being taught a strong work ethic that helped me tremendously in the business world,” he said.

Ray played basketball for three years and lettered all four years in baseball, in addition to being named MVP, his senior year at Notre Dame.

He continued his baseball prowess, playing one year at Southeast Missouri State University. Then, he began a 25-year journey playing men’s fast-pitch softball on teams that won numerous state, regional and national titles. In 1995, his team won the gold medal in the final Olympics sports festival in Denver, Colorado, and in 2010, he was elected to the Missouri Amateur Softball Association Hall of Fame.

“Fast-pitch softball was my passion after a baseball career didn’t pan out,” said Ray, who along with his wife Lisa are the parents of two daughters.

“God blessed me with two girls, and when they started playing, that’s when I started coaching girls,” he continued. “I took my knowledge of the game and was able to pass it on to the girls.”

Ray continues to stay very active in softball, coaching several girls’ summer teams and serving as Notre Dame’s assistant softball coach.

“When asked to help in the fall of 2003 (with Notre Dame softball), I jumped at the chance,” he said. “I use my coaching to teach softball, but I also try and pass on God’s word as well.

I’ve found that through sports, I can coach the game as well as evangelize,” he said.

“Working hard and serving others through coaching and preaching to the kids is my example on how to succeed in life.”

“I have never been around a person who truly gives of his time, talent and treasure like Ray does,” said Jeff Graviett, Notre Dame athletic director & softball coach. “He makes everyone a better person by spreading the love of God to everyone he comes in contact with; he is a true apostle of Christ.”

“Lisa was on the first-ever softball team here at Notre Dame,” Graviett said of Lisa Reinagel. “She was also a ‘softball mom’ to the girls for many years. She was always willing to help me make the girls’ experience in softball one they would remember forever, well past the wins and losses.”

Ray says he and his family are “Notre Dame through and through.” The Reinagels’ two daughters, Lindsay Reinagel Crowden and Lauren Reinagel Pobst, are both NDHS graduates, Lindsay in 2004 and Lauren in 2010.”

“They didn’t have a choice,” Ray said. “As parents, we wanted the best for our daughters. We have no regrets. Our grandchildren will come to Notre Dame as well. The Christian education, atmosphere, clubs and sports offered them all we could have asked for, and the topping was them going to Kairos. We just feel Notre Dame has so many things to offer in a young adult’s life.”

“When I think of Ray and Lisa Reinagel, I think of two individuals that are Bulldogs through and through. Not only are they both graduates of the high school, along with their siblings, but they have proudly supported their daughters along with their nieces and nephews wearing ND blue. Ray’s name is synonymous with fast pitch softball throughout the state for his time playing the sport, but his name is also synonymous with Notre Dame softball for the countless time, talent and treasure that he has put into our girls’ program,” said Principal Tim Garner. “Notre Dame could not be more proud of having supporters like Lisa and Ray, and it is such a blessing to be able to honor them with our Annunciation Award.”

The Reinagels have been members of St. Augustine in Kelso throughout their 43 years of marriage.

Ray says they are thrilled to receive the Annunciation Award. It is a special culmination of his work on the Notre Dame softball diamond the past 19 years.

“By others recognizing your efforts in trying to make a difference in student athletes’ lives, it helps to affirm that what you are doing is worthwhile.”