About Evelyn D. Reinhart
The Evelyn D. Reinhart Guest House was named in loving memory of Evelyn D. Reinhart.
Born in 1926 in Belleville, Illinois, Evelyn grew up on a small truck farm not far from St. Louis, Missouri. In 1945, she completed her nursing degree at Washington University in St. Louis through the Women’s Army Corps. At the end of WWII, she was released from her military obligations and entered public nursing at Barnes Hospital.
Shortly thereafter, she met her future husband, M.H. “Bud” Reinhart, at a wedding and they were married in 1948. In January 1960, Bud accepted a position in Richmond, Virginia, where Evelyn became a volunteer at St. Mary’s Hospital, then Richmond’s newest hospital and the first in the West End. Like many women of her generation, she continued to care for her extended family, opening her Richmond home to nieces and nephews, and occasionally spending weeks at a time living in unfamiliar hotels in strange cities, providing care for her children or relatives who had been hospitalized for surgery or illness.
As her children grew older and self-sufficient, Evelyn decided that she could do more. She studied, passed the nursing exam, and became a licensed registered nurse in Virginia. She worked for a number of years as a private duty nurse at St. Mary’s, as well as continuing her work as a volunteer. In 1984, at the age of 58, she was diagnosed with Stage 3 ovarian cancer and succumbed to the disease in 1986.
Evelyn loved her volunteer duties and took comfort in knowing her fellow St. Mary’s volunteers would be with her at her memorial service in their bright pink St. Mary’s uniforms, remembering her service and friendship. And so they were.
Since 1986, much has changed. Richmond has grown larger and more sophisticated. St. Mary’s has grown with its patient population, and today it is one of the Bon Secours Health System hospitals. With Evelyn’s passing, the family searched for a way to honor her memory. Remembering her love of nursing, her joy as a volunteer at St. Mary’s, and the difficult weeks she spent in hotels while caring for hospitalized members of her family, the proposed Bon Secours Guest House seemed to be the perfect way to honor and remember her.
It is the Reinhart family’s sincere wish that the Reinhart Guest House provides a comfortable haven, a home away from home, where out-of-town families of Bon Secours patients may gather and rest, sharing their worries, prayers, frustrations and hopes with each other, yet easily attending to their hospitalized loved ones.