Lou Rizzo, a partner in Reger Rizzo, said his first impression of Mr. Rainer came at a holiday party. All smiles, he was wearing a festive hat at a rakish angle. Rizzo soon learned that once on staff, Mr. Rainer worked seriously on behalf of clients but, as at the party, never took himself too seriously.
"That was his charm, and the reason that so many of his clients not only respected his good counsel, but also considered him a friend," Rizzo said.
Mr. Rainer also quietly carried out another role, as counselor to the counselors.
"He was the kind of lawyer whom other lawyers regularly sought out for advice on matters of ethics and professionalism, as well as the personal matters we all deal with related to the practice," Rizzo said.
Born in Philadelphia and raised in Bryn Mawr, he graduated from Episcopal Academy in 1965, Wesleyan University in 1969, and Temple University School of Law in 1972. He began his career that same year as an associate with Duryea, Larzelere & Hepburn in Ardmore.
In 1976, he opened and ran his own law firm in Haverford until joining Hecker, McGinnis, Rainer & Brown in Philadelphia. He was a partner and then managing partner.
Mr. Rainer was a partner in Rubin Quinn Moss Heaney & Patterson in Philadelphia, and then in Eckell Sparks in Media before joining Reger Rizzo.
He was a director of Alliance Bank in Broomall from 2003 to just before his death. From 1995 to 2013, he was an adjunct professor at Temple University School of Law.
He taught courses in "transactional practice," or the legal questions facing business entities, and in continuing legal education. He also worked as an expert witness in legal malpractice cases.
Mr. Rainer used his legal acumen not just to earn a livelihood, but as a way to help others, especially children and young adults in need.
He was a founding member and a president of the board of A Better Chance, which fosters educational opportunities for young people of color in Lower Merion; was involved with Northern Children's Services, which works with at-risk children and their families; and was chairman of the board of Joseph J. Peters Institute, a nonprofit mental-health agency that works with the victims of sexual abuse.
Mr. Rainer's leisure-time passions were spending time with family and friends, fishing in Ontario, traveling, enjoying food and wine, playing golf, and rooting for the Flyers.
Surviving are his wife, the former Joan Klamkin; a son, Daniel, and his wife, Maithili Pradhan; a daughter, Julia; his mother, Ruth; two brothers; and three sisters.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, March 21, at Friends Center, 1501 Cherry St. Burial is private.
Donations may be made to the Capital Campaign for Northern Children's Services, 5301 Ridge Ave., Philadelphia 19128, or via www.northernchildren.org.