Robert Reinert’s 86-year-old wife had gone to an appointment with a doctor at midday Friday before returning to the house she shared with her husband at 5 Ryerton Place in Palm Coast.
There was a stool in the way when she opened the garage door, so she did not drive in. But she noticed her husband in a chair, and thought he was asleep. Before long, she noticed a revolver at his feet. A Palm Coast firefighter paramedic pronounced Robert William Reinert dead at 1:02 p.m. He was 88.
He had left his wife a handwritten note on the dining room table, transcribed in a sheriff’s report: “Rita, I’m tired and sorry to pick this way to go. But I don’t [want to] to end up in a hospital hooked to [all] kinds of things just [to] prolong my life. I thank you for everything. Stay healthy and happy. All my love, Bob.”
As is usual in such cases, the sheriff’s office established a crime scene at the Ryerton Pl. home and detectives, crime scene investigators and the department chaplain reported to the scene before the medical examiner removed the body to its office in St. Johns County.
Reinert had moved to Palm Coast in 1999, living in the same R-Section house since then and quickly taking an interest in local issues. He periodically shared his ideas through the letters pages of the News-Journal, starting with his opinion about the city’s incorporation 21 years ago: “Why don’t they stop trying to influence the voters with vague issues and problems? Let’s get to the important issue, without any games: What is it going to cost the residents of Palm Coast to become a city?,” he asked.
A few years later he penned a letter about how “tipping has lost its significant purpose as a reward for good service and has become a thing that is taken for granted by many in the work force, while finding the “list of workers who should be tipped for work performed is a little out of line.” Back in the days when that was still an issue, he compared the competitive egos of Palm Coast’s and Flagler County’s fire chiefs to “two professional men are acting like a couple of kids playing in a sand box. And in his last letter, when he noted that he’d recently become disabled–in 2016–he complained that too many people park in handicapped spots by hanging a tag from their rear-view mirror instead of acquiring the required license plate. “I believe this leads to a too-easy means for able-bodied people to misuse handicapped parking spots,” he wrote.
The following resources are available for individuals in crisis:
In Flagler: The Crisis Triage and Treatment Unit (CTTU) is a crisis assessment and referral service for Flagler County residents experiencing behavioral health crisis. It is located at 301 Justice Lane in the Brown & Brown Outpatient building at the Vince Carter Sanctuary in Bunnell. This program is limited to individuals escorted to the program by law enforcement between the hours of noon and midnight daily. Law enforcement is able to transport individuals to SMA to assess and determine the appropriate clinical disposition. When required and appropriate, SMA then transports the individual to a receiving facility in Volusia County.
In Daytona Beach: Stewart-Marchman Act Corporation Crisis Center
1220 Willis Avenue
Daytona Beach, FL 32114
Crisis Line: (800) 539 – 4228
Available 24 hours.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 800/273-8255 (TALK), or use the online Lifeline Crisis Chat, both available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
People 60 and older can call the Institute on Aging’s 24-hour, toll-free Friendship Line at 800-971-0016. IOA also makes ongoing outreach calls to lonely older adults.
If you are concerned for someone else, read about warning signs here. For additional resources, see the Speaking of Suicide website.
Someone needs to begin to open their eyes to the seriousness of this issue.
After much prayer, my heart can no longer stay silent. Any officials running for office who can not or choose not to see that Flagler county has an unusually high suicide rate. Seriously, alot of Flagler is rural, undeveloped and there’s alot of questions as to why this is such a continuing occurrence.
Integrity and justice come to mind.
Let’s all do something for all the lives lost and those left behind.
I will volunteer or do anything that would get help to Flagler . Anyone else interested or has ideas, Messenger me.
John R Brady says
This program is limited to individuals escorted to the program by law enforcement between the hours of noon and midnight daily. Now that explains why so many people who need emergency mental health care are reluctant to seek service. People are reluctant to have the police at their home.
It seems to me that government agencies and government funded services try very hard to deflect individuals needing help.
After 40 years of providing mental health services, it took me 10 years and a chance encounter to discover that there are facilities that accept voluntary psychiatric patients. In any treatment modality a lower level of treatment is always beneficial. This means if a person needs hospital treatment and is willing to self admit her/his self, a voluntary admission should be the treatment plan. A Baker Act should never be used if the patient agrees to self admit and agrees with the hospital rules.
If SMA allowed walk in patients, I think more people would seek help and it would certainly reduce police involvement
Very sad but I an relate to this issue. I also am disabled with health issues. I also never want to end up in a nursing home or hospital being kept alive when I should be dead. I would rather the same fate. I am very comfortable knowing where I’m going when I die. Don’t make me a living dead person.
RIP to Mr. Reinert and may God sooth his widow and family. Very sad when a decision like this has to be taken. In a more rational environment our lives should end in a more peaceful way, surrounded by family and the proper affordable humane care.
Trailer Bob says
This man was NOT “in crisis”. He was very organized and determined not to be a burden on his wife by lingering on while his health declined. I can respect that and have always t0ld my wife I would do likewise should the situation warrant. I also find it strange to offer the information for suicide crisis, as this man already explained his intent and the reasons for him choosing to end his life.
My mother is 89, lives in a nursing home, doesn’t know who I am, and any and all money she ever saved has been given to a nursing home. My mother had her long and health life years ago. Now she is merely fed and bathed by strangers. I will not do this to my wife and when the time comes, I will gracefully man up and let her live with dignity and enough assets to live a decent life. GOD BLESS YOU SIR.
Rest in peach Mr. Reinert, though I don’t know you I understand you not wanting to be hooked up in a hospital prolonging your life.
I always supported Dr. Jack Kevorkian who assisted those that didn’t want to be kept alive on life support means and being a burden to their families and racking up unnecessary medical bills. The State of Washington now allows people to make their choices in those circumstances and more states should follow suit.
My thoughts and prayers to Mrs. Reinert during this difficult time. RIP.
When I first learned of Bob’s passing, I thought, the world is left without is really cool guy. And when I was told of how he passed, I thought, WOW, what a courageous & gutsy decision he made. But also mad that it had to come down to him doing this…hiding in his garage with no one around. No one wants to end up in a cold hospital room, being checked on once in a while and hooked up to God knows what kind of machine to further the costs of his life & care. That wasn’t the Bob I knew…full of spunk and zest. I guess when we get to a certain time in our lives that we know there is no chance of a ‘normal life’ or returning to normalcy. I can see where any one of us would go into ourselves and reach for that inner self that says, I’m tired & enough is enough.
I also had to look at the Medical Industry as a whole and wonder just how long would any Hospital keep someone like Bob alive just to make more money from the Patient’s insurance. Because it is about the money when we discuss Corporate Medicine. Also thoughts of when Florida, the ‘Senior Center’ of the US, will have their voters, vote, on a bill for a End your Life with DIGNITY law comes into play. Questions that should be asked of our Politicians are…just how many of our Seniors have committed suicide and when can we see a Right to Die comes into play. This type of law not only gives the Patient the right of their own passing but the Family as well. I would have loved to be able to sit with Bob and all the Family while he took his last breath…by his own decision and I would have been at peace too. God Bless Bob – Rest in Peace.
Mr. Reinert should be able to choose how and when to depart this world; as should we all. I’m much younger than Mr. Reinert but I plan on going out on my own terms and hope to leave a similar letter to my loved ones hoping they will understand.
My condolences to Ms. Reinert; I hope she has people around her that love her and that she chooses to persevere.
Shane Smith says
Thank you for all of your kind thoughts and prayers. Rita is fortunate to have many friends and family around her at this time and will continue to have the support of her two sons who live with her.
I don’t know who you are but you have your information wrong and need to take your comment down.
Bruce R Richards says
He had his reasons and they must have been right for him. I knew his daughter Donna and I’m sure she misses him.