Lust for Life
"Follow me, Dad."
With just those words — part request, part challenge — Christopher and Scott Reinig could get their father, Thomas, to do most anything. Like swoop down the slipperiest ski slopes behind them. Or climb the Grand Tetons with them. Or spend Father's Day competing in a triathlon that taxed the 48-year-old's stamina and his sense of humor.
"He beat me on the running part, but of course I had the better overall time," said Scott Reinig, 20, a competitive swimmer. "He blamed it on the swimming."
Mr. Reinig, a vice president at eSpeed, was not a sore loser, even when it came to being beaten at golf by his wife, Jeanne. "He always had fun and laughed," she said. "He wasn't a good-time Charlie. He just enjoyed life."
And he did everything for his family. When the boys were small, Mr. Reinig moved them all to London for three years when he took a job there so they would learn to appreciate the world. They returned to New Jersey, but when the boys enrolled in a private school in Morris County a few years later, Mr. Reinig moved to Bernardsville to shorten their commute.
"My dad was always calling home, a couple of times a day, every day, and all he'd say is, 'I'm just checking in,'" Scott Reinig said. "There wasn't any other reason than that."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on January 22, 2002.