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Charles Millard Reinken (Alpha Omicron) 1946-2011

Charley Reinken had a distinguished 36-year newspaper career that spanned from the Atlantic to the Pacific, with a concentration in the heartland. After graduating from Texas Tech with an MA in journalism, a BBA in administrative management, with minors in sociology and industrial engineering, Charley got his start in newspapers at the Midland (Texas) Reporter-Telegram as assistant wire editor. In 1976, he began working as assistant news editor for The Houston Post, where he would spend 16 fruitful years. In 1981, the Post named him entertainment and fine arts editor, and in 1984, he became deputy editor of editorial/opinion pages. His travels on behalf of the Post included journeys to Israel, the Netherlands and Scotland. From 1992 to 1999, Charley was editor of the editorial/opinion pages of the Fayetteville Observer, North Carolina’s oldest daily newspaper (founded 1816). Charley was named deputy editor of the editorial pages of the Omaha World-Herald in 1999. In 2002, he assumed the editorship of the editorial pages. His final assignment for the World-Herald was as vice president for editorial page development. He served as editor of letters to the editor column of the Kansas City Star from 2005 to 2006. Charley was national desk senior copy editor for the Los Angeles Times, the largest newspaper on the West Coast, in 2007 and 2008. His final assignment as a journalist was in 2009-2010, as deputy local news editor of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, which also is the home of Charley’s alma mater, Texas Tech University.

Among the honors and activities in Charley’s prominent career are national secretary, treasurer and vice president of the National Conference of Editorial Editors; “Andy” Award, given by the University of Nebraska at Omaha for promoting understanding of international issues; first place, N.C. Working Press, editorial writing; AP and UPI statewide awards in Texas; 1993 Outstanding Alumnus of the Texas Tech School of Mass Communications; adjunct faculty, University of Houston, 1987; Texas Tech Mass Communications Advisory Committee, 1986-91; weekly commentary of KRIV-TV in Houston, 1985. His work also appeared in World Book Encyclopedia, the Texas Observer, American Way magazine, The Masthead, Columbia Journalism Review and American Journalism Review. Among Charley’s other lifelong passions were photography, woodworking, backpacking, classical music and band music; he played piano, clarinet and other musical instruments. He was fluent in Spanish, proficient in French and German and read some Italian and Latin. Reinken was a 1964 graduate of Plainview High School and a proud member of the award-winning PHS band and the Texas Tech University marching and concert bands, and Court Jesters. He was a member of Kappa Kappa Psi band fraternity, Texas Tech Chapter. For those wishing to provide memorials, a band scholarship has been established in his memory at Plainview High School, to be coordinated through PHS Senior Counselor Rob Knight.

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