Friday 24th Feb 2023

Lance Reynolds – PrepA, MdB 49-58


Submitted by George Matcham

Lance Reynolds, an Old Blue who co-founded Friends of Christ’s Hospital, has died at his home in Indio, California.

Martin Lance Reynolds was born on May 30th, 1939, and attended Christ’s Hospital from 1949 to 1958, starting in Prep A and then Middleton B. After CH, Lance read Chemistry at Oxford, gaining an M.A. and B.Sc., and then worked for several companies, one of which, Reynolds American, gave him the opportunity in 1966 to move to the United States. Lance spent most of his working career at Reynolds, eventually becoming a resident of California for the last several decades.

Lance was always passionate about volunteer activities and in his later years was involved in several non-profits and other charitable initiatives, either in leadership positions, rolling his sleeves up and helping out, or just providing financial support. He was for 9 years the Board President of Alzheimer’s Services of the East Bay, a non-profit with daycare centers for Alzheimer’s patients in Oakland and Berkeley. During that time, he made weekly visits to spend time with the daycare clients, which was unheard of for a Board President, but which he described as the high point of his week.

Lance was also President of Ombudsman Services of San Mateo County, which is a federally mandated program in every county to protect the welfare and interests of long-term care residents. He was very hands-on in this activity. And Lance served on the California Council for Excellence, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving organizational performance excellence of California-based organizations in all sectors, which feeds into the congressionally authorized national Baldridge program.

In 2002, Lance and Jack Doyle (Prep B, Middleton A, 1940-1948) co-founded a 501(c)(3) charity to enhance the community of US-based Old Blues and enable them to more easily donate to Christ’s Hospital, called “Friends of Christ’s Hospital”. Jack says that “Lance’s enthusiasm and his volunteer experiences were essential in getting things started. He did all the heavy lifting”. FCH, as abbreviated, continues to thrive and over the last two decades has supported approximately 60 pupils at CH, established a transatlantic pupil exchange between CH and US schools, and sent many millions of dollars in financial support to the school, while organizing Old Blue gatherings across the USA. Lance continued to serve FCH as Secretary, and at times Treasurer as well, until 2012, and made it his business to know almost every Old Blue living in the USA. Lance always led by example, as an Old Blue honoring The Charge, as an FCH Board member and as a Donation Governor, and did so with compassion, great modesty, and warmth. For his services to Christ’s Hospital, Lance received the “Old Blue Special Recognition Award” in 2013.

Old Blues who knew Lance will remember him as a gentle and kind person, who spoke with full engagement and without judgement. He was always curious and willing to learn something new. And he displayed a spontaneous compassion for the elderly and would get down on hands-and-knees whenever he saw a frail elderly person and hold their hand, wherever he was.

Lance, who suffered from dementia in recent years, passed away peacefully at home on February 13th, with his wife of 20 years Maria DeBenigno at his side. He was 83 years old. As well as Maria, Lance is survived by his three children, Simon Reynolds, Catherine Reynolds and Liz Dobiez, by three grandchildren, and by his sister Jane Kockum who lives in the U.K.

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