David Rien

David Rien, 66 years old, passed away on June 20, 2015 in Houston, Texas. He was born on July 26, 1948 in Sacramento, California to Howard James Rien (deceased) and Dorothy Aline Crenshaw Rien (deceased).  David Rien is survived by: his wife, Melanie Wilson Rien; daughter, Jennifer Rien Mason-Butler; son, Christopher James Rien; Son-in-law, Christopher Butler; daughter-in-law, Stephanie Rien; brothers, Richard Rien, Toby Rien, Timothy Rien, Tom Rien (deceased), Bobby Rien (deceased); grandchildren, Brianna Clara Mason and John Warren Mason IV; and many family members who loved him dearly. When his nation called he answered by joining the Navy. He earned a Master’s Degree in Rhetoric and Debate from Lamar University. David Rien worked as a Debate Teacher for Clear Lake High School.  He had a passion for teaching and loved to help others discover their full potential. A Visitation will be held on Wednesday, June 24, 2015 from 6pm to 7pm followed by a Funeral Service at 7pm at Crowder Funeral Home, 111 E Medical Center Blvd. Webster, Texas 77598. Interment will follow on Thursday, June 25, 2015 at 1:45 pm at Houston National Cemetery, with full military honors.


  1. To Melanie, Jennifer, and Christopher–
    How embarrassing, to have words fail me now. (Somewhere, Dave is sitting straddling a rolling chair with his glasses on upside down, trying to make me laugh.) He wasn’t just my debate coach–he was my mentor, friend, and kind shoulder. He was fierce in everything. He was demanding, intelligent, and unrelenting in the pursuit of our best possible performances, not just in high school, but in life. But most of all, he adored you three more than you can ever imagine. Thank you for sharing him with us.

    Karen Dryden Edmundson
  2. My condolences to Mr. Rien’s wife Melanie and his children and the rest of his family. Mr. Rien was our debate coach and mentor. We were certainly a challenging group, yet he put up with us, the practical jokes and all. We spent a lot of time with Mr. Rien, not just in class but at weekend long debate tournaments. He believed 100% in what he was doing and did all he could to impart on us knowledge and passion for debate, as well as the importance in understanding and having opinions regarding the issues facing us as people, a society and a country.
    We experienced a lot together; we were even in a serious bus accident on the way back from a tournament at Klein high school on 59 near what was the Summit. Mr. Rien was injured and wore a neck brace for sometime after the accident and suffered a lot of pain as a result.
    In 1980 I took my first plane ride at the age of 18 with Mr. Rien to Huntsville, Alabama on Republic Airlines to attend Nationals in Student Congress. I remembering sitting in the audience before they announced the results of the Student Congress; I of course was sure I had won; I was a bit over confident as I only finished third. Mr. Rien certainly put me in my place and taught me a life lesson, one of many over the course of knowing him. I saw him last at our debate reunion many years ago. While not the same man, there was still the same spirit present. I am sure many of us never got to tell him all he meant to us, but to his family I tell you that he meant a tremendous amount to all of his students and we all send you our deepest condolences. David Franz Clear Lake High Class of 1980

    David Franz
  3. David Rien had big plans: to change his students lives. He successfully executed his strategy year after year. His passion for debate was contagious. Even my father caught the “bug” and judged numerous rounds when we hosted tournaments. How to think on my feet, to create a logical argument to improve a situation, and how to speak what was on my mind was honed and trained up by this amazing teacher. I see the power of his influence in the number of his students who also chose the honorable profession of teaching. I don’t think any of us can properly thank his family for the sacrifices of time during our competitions. But I wanted you to know how grateful I am to have been a student of his. Because of his influence I gained confidence and skills I will carry all my days. I can say my life is richer because I was his student. He taught us how to be victorious. My prayers are for you to know peace which defies understanding.

    Dawn Holley
  4. Melanie, Jennifer, and Christopher, I am very sorry for your and our loss.

    Mr. Rien was such a great coach. He created an environment that was both fun and challenging. Debate was the first time I ever really found myself among a group that played hard and had fun. The proof experience was the many times we would up late on a Saturday night at a tournament waiting for the championship rounds to complete. Lousy squads went home. Meanwhile we’d be dancing the Time Warp waiting for the results. Debate made my senior year my best year and I was so glad to catch up with everyone again in 2007. It was good to see Mr. Rien again then, too, even if he was a more mellow man and couldn’t retell all of the old stories.

    Know he impacted so many for so long. He truly leaves an awesome legacy.

    Jake Mireles
  5. I find my self in the same position of Karen – not knowing what to say. I read Davd’s comments and could add so many more of the same heartfelt thoughts. David Rein saw more in me that I ever saw in myself. From the barefoot “Kentucky Socialite” to the college debator winning at national tournaments – his guidance was there every step of the way. A challenging group to say the least – yet he met every challenge we issued and gave us more.

    I never told him I loved him, but I did and still do. I am who I am partly because of him. Melanie, you may not remember me, but I remember you so clearly; Jennifer and Christopher as well. When I look back at those days I wonder now how YOU put up with us. A rowdy bunch for sure – and for that small sliver in time – David was the leader of our pack.

    May God’s Peace fill your heart. God Speed Dave, and safe Home.

    Angela Ramsey Hahn
  6. God blessed us with David Rien. I never did debate, never did impromptu or extemp. I was one of the drama mamas, who did events like duet, and poetry and dramatic interp. And yet I never felt I was not part of the group, and much, if not most, of that had to do with Mr. Rien. He was the leader, the inspiration, the heart of a team that competed every bit as hard (if not harder) than the sports teams at Clear Lake. The late, late nights, the long bus rides, the comrades. And throughout it all, was Mr. Rein, guiding a crazy bunch of excited, creative kids through a wonderful time. God bless you Mr. Rien, and condolences to his family.

    George Jackson
  7. When I first approached David Rien to participate in a Speech tournament( as I was not one of his students) he told me that in no uncertain terms that my performance would dictate if I were to be allowed to participate in any others. I made it to the finals in both my events. I remember asking him this would assure my continued participation, at which point he looked at me and said, ” can you drop your elective and come to my Speech class in the afternoon?” This was my introduction to this wonderful man who demanded without being too demanding, and brought out the absolute best in everyone.
    David continues to be a part of my life as I still think about him and try my best to emulate his example.
    My loving condolence to Melonie and his family. We were all lucky to have him

    Gregory Ginn
  8. I just came upon this obituary…I am saddened to learn of Mr. Rein’s passing. I can easily say he was my most influential teacher at Clear Lake High School. He was a good man, a great teacher and and a passionate coach. Presently, I’m an attorney and practice in Atlanta. Mr. Rein made a genuine impact in my life…debating under his guidance was absolutely a factor in my choice of profession. I’m very sorry for the family’s loss. God bless…

    Michael Martin
  9. Dear Melanie, Jennifer, and Christopher,

    I am so very sorry to read about the passing of your loving husband and father, David Rien. My sincere sympathy, thoughts, and prayers for your family. Although, we had lost contact over the years, David was always kind and loving to our family. I will always remember, Dave used his vacation time while visiting family in Livermore, California, to help us move into our first home, 32 years ago. He was a very kind and generous man, and his family meant the world to him.

    God Bless.



    Janis Rien

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