David C. Rinebolt, 64, passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, July 1 2021. Dave was born March 9, 1957, the first child of the late Richard and Ruth Rinebolt. He was bright, funny, and an outstanding musician. He used his intellect and deep understanding of the energy industry to benefit underserved people in Ohio.
Dave grew up in Findlay and graduated from Findlay High School in 1975. He played youth sports and golfed and swam at the Findlay Country Club, but his passion was music: throughout middle school and high school he played in bands, including Contraband. He was a member of the FHS State Championship Debate Team his senior year.
After high school, Dave graduated from Bowling Green State University in 1978 and The Columbus School of Law at The Catholic University of America in Washington DC in 1981. During and right after law school he held several jobs, including a stint with the Bureau of Land Management, the National Wood Energy Association, and the Coalition of Northeast Governors before starting to work in the office of Collin Peterson, a congressman from Minnesota. It was in that position that Dave made many lifelong friends.
During his time in Washington, Dave developed a love of sailing and continued to perform in bands, winning a Washington Annual Music Award with The Crimestoppers. He married in 1993 and returned to Findlay in 1996. He became the first director of Ohio Partners for Affordable Energy (OPAE) in 1998, finding his true calling as an advocate for underserved and low- income Ohioans. He worked tirelessly with statewide community action organizations to run weatherization and energy assistance programs and was relentless in engaging large utilities and the legislature to support programs to ensure the underserved were not forgotten. He argued in front of the Ohio Supreme Court on behalf of his organization.
Dave also became the father of two boys, Maxwell and Spencer, who meant the world to him. Whether it was watching countless hours of baseball or attending a robotics competition, Dave was always there, supporting the boys as they tried to discover who they wanted to be. He cooked for them and their friends, tended his garden and enjoyed performing with the Reunion Band, Mid-Life Crisis and other local bands. He also served on the ADAMHS board in Hancock County for 8 years and was a strong advocate for community mental health services.
In 2016, Dave returned to Washington for a position with the Department of Energy. He returned to Ohio in 2019 again as Executive Director of OPAE and led the organization through the pandemic crisis, lobbying the legislature for moratoriums for rent and utility bills for low-income people. Working remotely like many others, he was able to realize his dream of moving to Florida and settled in Pompano Beach. He had just returned from the trip of a lifetime, sailing a catamaran from Annapolis to Florida, and planned to enjoy the boat in his retirement in a few years.
Dave was an extraordinary individual. He was compassionate, pragmatic, a wonderful friend, son, father and sibling. He is survived by his sons Maxwell and Spencer, his former wife Anne, his brother Tom (Sarah) Rinebolt, sister Ann (Will) Brownfield, nephews Michael Rinebolt, Daryl Dyer, Jesse Rinebolt, Daniel Brownfield and niece Christine Brownfield. Dave was loved by many, and to those who loved him, just remember to be good to one another. That’s what he would have wanted.
A Celebration of Life for Dave will be held Friday, July 9 from 3-5 pm at the Elks in Findlay, Ohio. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials may be made to OPAE--Dave Rinebolt Memorial Fellowship, PO Box 1793, Findlay, OH 45839-1793, to support continuing education for attorneys in his field, or to Hancock County ADAMHS, 438 Carnahan Ave., Findlay, OH 45840, to support mental health initiatives in Hancock County.
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