Christopher Boyd Rainey, former Yellow Springs teacher, dies at 69


Photo provided by the Rainey family.

Christopher Boyd Rainey died Dec. 12.

By Lauren Blitstein

Oxford resident Christopher Boyd Rainey was a beloved husband, dad, Pappaw, teacher and coach. 

Rainey, 69, died Dec.12 after suffering a heart attack. 

Born on Sept. 17, 1951, in Canton, Ohio, Rainey attended North Canton Hoover High School before continuing his education at the College of Wooster. Upon graduating from Wooster in 1973, Rainey moved to Yellow Springs where he began his 35-year career with the Yellow Springs School District. 

Throughout his tenure, Rainey touched the lives of thousands of students at both the middle school and high school levels. As a math teacher, he was twice honored with a Howard Post Award for Teacher of the Year. 

His impact, however, extended far beyond the classroom. He coached more than 40 teams in baseball, basketball, softball and tennis, and won numerous district, conference and league titles. In addition to being a teacher and coach, Rainey also spent time as Yellow Springs’ athletic director and assistant principal. He played an instrumental role in the creation of the Metro Buckeye Conference, later serving two terms as commissioner.  

While Rainey was a fan of all sports, he was most passionate about baseball. 

According to his family, Rainey was a devout Cleveland Indians fan, a ravenous historian and a meticulous baseball card collector. 

In college, Rainey was awarded a letter jacket for his work as the baseball team’s equipment manager, statistician and color announcer on the first local radio broadcast of a game. Later on, he got involved with the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR). Since becoming an SABR member in the late 1970s, Rainey had contributed biographies of more than 80 unnoted baseball players from the early 20th century. 

He married Kathleen Steila on July 13, 1973. They had two children, Mark and Brian, and divorced in 1985.

At home, Rainey raised two sons as a single father. “He was fun, firm and fair,” said Brian Rainey, one of his sons. “[He was] always willing to make a sacrifice for the needs of his two sons.” 

In 2010, Rainey married his wife, Janelle and moved to Oxford, where his wife had worked for Talawanda Schools. Together, they liked to attend Cobblestone Community Church, in Oxford, and spend time with their grandchildren. They enjoyed cooking, traveling and dining out at mom-and-pop restaurants. Because of her, he developed a taste for coffee.

“They lived 10 happy years together, giddy like teenagers,” said Brian Rainey. 

Rainey is preceded in death by a son, Mark S. Rainey, and his parents, Robert and Herta Rainey. In addition to his wife and son, he is survived by his brother, Lee Rainey; sister-in-law, Virginia Rainey; daughter-in-law, Amy Boblitt; three stepchildren and their spouses, and seven grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at a later date, according to his son. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to a newly established Chris Rainey Memorial Scholarship fund via the Yellow Springs Community Foundation.