Christopher Boyd Rainey stepped onto the Field of Dreams on Dec. 12, 2020, with his loving wife, Janelle, by his side. He was born Sept. 17, 1951. He was preceded in death by his father, Robert E. Lee Rainey, mother, Herta K. Rainey and son Mark S. Rainey. He is survived by his loving wife, Janelle (Truster) Rainey, and her children, Whitney (Truster) and Matt Horsley and Patrick and Mallory Truster; his brother, Lee Rainey and his wife, Virginia Rainey; his son, Brian Rainey and his wife Amy Boblitt; and seven grandchildren, Dylan Rainey, Lily Rainey, Kian Rainey, Veda Rainey, Nicolas Truster, Kelly Jo Truster and Kayleigh Truster.
Chris married Kathleen Steila on July 13, 1973. They had two children, Mark and Brian, and divorced in 1985.
On June 26, 2010, he married Janelle Truster. They lived 10 happy years together, giddy like teenagers. They enjoyed traveling, dining out at mom and pop restaurants, drinking coffee — he learned to like coffee for her — spending time with their grandchildren, attending Cobblestone Community Church and cooking. He loved cooking his mother’s Austrian recipes and the Chinese recipes his father had taught him. More recently he found a love for smoking meats and veggies alike. He danced when he cooked.
Chris loved baseball. He was a devout Cleveland Indians fan, a ravenous historian and a meticulous baseball card collector. His Cleveland card and memorabilia collection includes a card and/or picture of every person but three to ever wear a Cleveland uniform dating back to the 1800s. His work for SABR, a baseball research organization, is unprecedented; he researched and wrote biographies of over 80 little-known early 20th-century ballplayers with quirky claims to fame or personal or geographic connections to himself.
Chris Rainey came to the Yellow Springs Schools in 1973. He had graduated from North Canton Hoover High School in 1969 where he was a member of the debate team, German Club and National Honor Society. He graduated from the College of Wooster in 1973. At Wooster, he was awarded a letter jacket for his work with the baseball team as equipment manager, team statistician and color announcer on the first local radio broadcast of a game — Wooster vs. University of Akron.
Over his 35 years with the YS schools, Chris wore many hats. He was a teacher, coach, single father, athletic director, assistant to the principal and league commissioner for the KTC and the MBC. During that span he coached 40 (or so) teams in baseball, basketball, softball and tennis. He has coached more seasons of YSHS baseball than anyone else in school history. His team won a District title in 1975 — the only YS baseball team to ever win the District. He added an MBC title in 2002.
Chris guided the tennis team to a league title in the KTC. In basketball he coached seventh- and eighth-grade boys teams, eighth-grade girls and high school girls for a combined 20 seasons. He had a number of championships in the Cedarville eighth grade boys tournaments in the 1970s and 1980s. He also coached softball for two seasons in the 1980s.
He earned a Coach of the Year award in baseball in the MBC and as a teacher was twice honored with a Howard Post Award as a Teacher of the Year. One of those awards came from a nomination by Dawn Boyer, who noted in her speech that he had always given equal attention to boys and girls sports. When John Gudgel envisioned the MBC, Chris helped to craft the Constitution and then served two stints as commissioner.
As a math teacher, he touched the lives of thousands of students with a reputation of having a big heart but also pushing his students to be the best in their own way. Many a student struggled to understand math until they stepped into his classroom.
As a father, Chris was fun, firm and fair — always willing to make a sacrifice for the needs of his two sons. He expected nothing less than the best from us and provided an avenue for us to achieve it.
Above all, he was kind, caring and thoughtful. He had a great anticipation for others’ needs and was a firm believer in equality and general human kindness. He often repeated his mother’s quote, “Different strokes for different folks.”
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the newly established Chris Rainey Memorial Scholarship fund via the Yellow Springs Community Foundation.
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