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The founder of Ross Summer Music Theater died Thursday. After serving in the U.S. Air Force for two years, Jerauld Joseph Reinhart, who was born in Princeton, Indiana, moved to Merrillville where he started teaching music at Merrillville High School. Reinhart remained as both music teacher and choir director at Merrillville High until his retirement in 1994. Family members say Reinhart advocated having a state-of-the-art auditorium at the high school, and that venue, which opened in the early seventies, was later named in his honor. Reinhart's last production involvement was directing the pit orchestra for the production of "Les Miserables" in August. The community theatre organization continues in his memory under the direction of his son, Mike Reinhart, and his wife, Melinda. Visitation is today and funeral services are Saturday in Merrillville. Reinhart was 85. [Photo/provided: Reinhart in August 2013 conducting the orchestra in "Les Miserables."]
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