Longtime Pasadena resident and teacher Victor A. Reyna Jr., an award-winning tennis coach who also coached baseball and football, died Friday, Oct. 5, during what his family described as a routine surgical procedure at Huntington Hospital. He was 74.
“He touched many lives, loved football and sports. And the things that he taught me throughout my life helped prepare me for facing any tough challenge,” said Reyna’s son, Victor Cass, a detective with the Pasadena Police Department. Cass is also an author who has written the official history of the Police Department, as well as novels.
Reyna is the husband of longtime fellow educator, author and independent publisher Dr. Thelma T. Reyna, owner of Pasadena-based Golden Foothills Press.
“Vic was a devoted family man who took great joy and pride in his children and grandchildren, who were the proverbial apple of his eye. We already miss his great sense of humor, kindness and generous heart,” said Mrs. Reyna.
Memorial services are set for 9:30 a.m. Monday, Oct. 15, at Mountain View Mortuary & Cemetery, 2400 N. Fair Oaks Ave., Altadena, Cass said.
Born April 16, 1944 in Camp White, Oregon, Mr. Reyna grew up in Robstown, Texas, graduating from Brackenridge High School in San Antonio, where he was a two-sport letterman in varsity football and track. He attended Texas A&I University (now Texas A&M-Kingsville), where he met Thelma. The couple moved to Pasadena and he earned his master’s degree from Cal State, LA.
Reyna taught math for 36 years, 34 of which were spent in the Pasadena Unified School District, largely at John Muir High School, but also at Blair High School and Rose City High School, according to a family statement. While at Muir, he coached football, baseball and tennis. In the 1980s, Reyna led the Muir High boys’ varsity tennis team to two Pacific League championships, once in 1980, and again in 1985, sharing co-champion honors with Arcadia High School. According to his son, Reyna was the only varsity boys’ tennis coach from a Pasadena team ever to win the Pacific League championship.
In addition to his wife and son, Reyna is survived by his daughter, Dr. Christine Reyna, 48, of Chicago, a professor of psychology at DePaul University, and three grandchildren. They are: Elizabeth Cass, 17, a senior at Mayfield in Pasadena; Charles Reyna-Demes, 14, and Cassandra Reyna-Demes, 12, of Chicago.
“He was a loving and affectionate father and a wonderful grandfather as well,” Cass said. “He’ll be truly missed.”