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January 29, 2013  |   Comments (4)   |   Post a comment

At 90, school transportation veteran still on the job

By Thomas McMahon

Earl Rineer, who just celebrated his 90th birthday, continues to pass his annual physical, train and test school bus drivers, and drive when needed.

Earl Rineer, who just celebrated his 90th birthday, continues to pass his annual physical, train and test school bus drivers, and drive when needed.

LAFAYETTE HILL, Pa. — Far from slowing down at 90 years old, Earl Rineer still walks or rides his bike to work.

The school transportation veteran, who works for Sague Bus Service, continues to pass his annual physical, train new school bus drivers, conduct recertification classes and drive when needed.

Earl's son Jerry Rineer, who is transportation supervisor for Lower Merion School District in Ardmore, Pa., told SBF that his father recently showed him how he stays so fit.

"He starts out every morning and ends every day doing push-ups, sit-ups, leg lifts, etc.," Jerry Rineer said.

Family members gathered on Saturday to celebrate Earl Rineer's 90th birthday, and several Pennsylvania officials issued proclamations to honor him on the occasion.

"Having reached nine decades of life, you deserve to be recognized and applauded for the innumerable contributions you have made to your family and community," Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett wrote.

"From your service in the defense of our country during World War II to your service to the community as a volunteer firefighter and bus driver, your efforts have benefited many," U.S. Senator Robert Casey Jr. of Pennsylvania wrote.

The commissioners of Montgomery County, Pa., also issued a proclamation highlighting many of Rineer's contributions to the local community and the country.

Rineer served in Europe during World War II. After returning from the war, he served as a police officer and drove a fire truck as a volunteer fireman.

In 1976, Rineer began driving a school bus. In 1980, he became a certified school bus driver instructor.

Last year, during a visit to Blue Bird's plant in Fort Valley, Ga., the manufacturer honored Rineer for his public service and his dedication to transporting the children of Pennsylvania.

Jerry Rineer noted that, in addition to his school transportation job, his father "still performs all kinds of community volunteer services."

For 25 years, Earl Rineer has served as a volunteer bus driver for foreign students for an annual conference in Lancaster, Pa. He has also served as a volunteer bus driver for local churches' weekend retreats and other outdoor activities as well as for Teen Haven, a ministry for inner-city youth.

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Read more about: driver training, history, Pennsylvania

I am so proud of my Dad, he continues to amaze me, Our Family is truely blessed.

Jerry Rineer    |    Feb 01, 2013 11:55 AM

What an inspiration for future Bus Operators. Driving a school bus takes a very special and caring person, and at the age of 90 it's much more than just being special. Earl should go to other districts or states to inspire young drivers to make their bus driving job a career by advancing and becoming a trainer and possibly an Administrator or Director!

Claire Instasi    |    Jan 30, 2013 06:12 AM

Just plain remarkarkable

Dan H    |    Jan 29, 2013 04:10 PM

I remember Earl very well. He instructed me in many recert classes for my School bus license. I started driving a school bus in 1975 and continued for 35 years retiring in 2010. Congratulations to Earl on his 90th birthday and his many years of safely transporting precious cargo in a school bus.

Susan Owad    |    Jan 29, 2013 04:08 PM

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