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Dr. Russell Reynolds

Dr. Russell Reynolds

Bear Valley mourns the passing of Dr. Russell Reynolds, a 55 year resident of the Valley. A memorial service is scheduled for June 22, at 11 a.m. at The Community Church By The Lake, 40946 Big Bear Blvd., in Big Bear Lake, CA 92315. Dr. Reynolds is survived by his wife, Rita Reynolds, son Darrell Reynolds, daughter-in-law Sue Reynolds, daughter Kristie Gipe; grandchildren, Kelly Reynolds, Scott Reynolds, Jessie Gipe, and Jordan Gipe; sister, Shirley Routh as well as many other extended family members.

Dr. Reynolds was a graduate of Modesto High School, attended several years at Modesto Junior College, and then earned a BA degree in education from Pepperdine University. He played basketball at all three schools.

Dr. Reynolds, a 44-year veteran of education and recipient of the Distinguished Service Award, began his career in education teaching and coaching at Pepperdine University after first serving in the Army for two years. This is where he also met and married Rita. In 1958, Dr. Reynolds began teaching Spanish, English, and PE as well as coaching basketball at Big Bear High School. In 1968, he earned a doctorate degree in education from USC. He went on to serve in a number of positions of increasing responsibility in Bear Valey Unified School District including assistant principal, principal, and assistant superintendent and was named superintendent of schools for Bear Valley in 1978. He also worked on various school accreditation teams and CIF committees.

During Dr. Reynolds' career, Bear Valley experienced rapid population growth that greatly affected the district at many levels, including school facilities. He was a driving force in getting a new high school built on Maple Lane in 1985. This was a major challenge that required a tremendous level of dedication and energy over a period of several years.

Since his retirement in 1987 Reynolds remained active in local education. He supervised the San Bernardino Valley College program in Big Bear, taught and supervised teachers/administrators at Azusa Pacific University, and was a valued member and leader of the Board of Trustees of Simpson University in Redding, CA. He also worked to help establish the Steven G. Mihaylo Scholarship Foundation and served on its board. One of his favorite activities in retirement was working for Dick Leroy at Little Mort's Ski Shop.

As a member, elder and Bible teacher at Community Church, many have been helped and encouraged by his example and wisdom. Dr. Reynolds was deeply involved in the development of the church property, and the construction of the existing gym and classroom building. His leadership, wisdom, insights and willingness to help served as a model that others followed.

In lieu of flowers please send memorials to Simpson University or to the Steven G. Mihaylo/BBHS Educational Foundation, in care of P.O. Box 1529, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315. Please indicate your gift to Simpson University OR SGM/BBHS Foundation. Your gifts will be forwarded to either Simpson University or to the Mihaylo Foundation according to your wishes.

"Big Bear Grizzly" Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 1:05 pm
Submitted by: Peggy Hooper