Python Founder Lance Reyniers Dies
Lance Reyniers with his wife Janet at last year's SuperZoo trade show.
Lance A. Reyniers, loving family man and creator of the Milwaukee-based Python Products brand, passed away peacefully at his home on April 1 with his family by his side. He was 70 years old.
“We have lost a pet lover, pet advocate, colleague and friend,” said Mike Lasky, past president of World Pet Association (WPA).
An innovator and industry pioneer, Reyniers founded the Python Products brand in 1984 and invented the revolutionary No Spill Clean and Fill Aquarium Maintenance System, which, to this day, remains the most popular product of its kind.
“Lance built the Python Products brand creating problem-solving products, all proudly made in the USA,” Lasky said. “Lance used to say, ‘Our products really suck,’ which is a compliment when you are cleaning or draining a fish tank. He was an innovator and creator of many great products that have stood the test of time, and if you’ve ever cleaned a fish tank, you know Python Products.”
Friends and peers remember Reyniers as deeply devoted to the advancement of the pet industry, as evidenced by his unwavering support for the WPA and its predecessors, World Wide Pet Supplies Association (WWPSA) and World Wide Pet Industry Association (WWPIA). He was elected to and served on the board of directors of the WPA and chaired the Trade Show Committee. He was also very committed to America’s Family Pet Expo, an annual consumer show presented by WPA, and was instrumental in developing it into the event it is today.
“Lance was an incredibly dedicated WPA board member,” Lasky said. “During his tenure on the board, Lance put his heart and soul into every WPA event and was a huge contributor to America’s Family Pet Expo. He used to love to walk around the consumer shows with a giant snake or reptile, and used them to educate children on how to treat and respect animals while fueling their interest in having a pet.”
In acknowledgment of his invaluable contributions to the pet industry and related associations, Reyniers was inducted into the WPA Hall of Fame before his passing.
“We are fortunate to be able to get this news to him and his family prior to his passing,” Lasky said. “He was both touched and humbled by this recognition and was greatly appreciative to be recognized by his peers.”
An ardent patriot, Reyniers served his country in the Vietnam War. He was ultimately discharged as a disabled Army veteran. His deep sense of patriotism would eventually become a pillar of the Python Products brand, whose products all wear the stars and stripes and “Proudly Made in the USA” stamp.
When he wasn’t spending quality time with family and pets, cooking up a storm or dominating games of Rummy 500, Reyniers loved to hit the open road on his motorcycle. He was a member of the Kettle Moraine Chapter of Harley Davidson since 2002, and served as a Road Guard and then as a Road Captain for five years. He went on to establish the Young at Heart Senior Ride in 2006, which was inspired by his mother, Joyce. An active and proud member of his local community, he also served as a member, captain and president of the Bradley Estates Neighborhood Organization, the largest block-watch program in Milwaukee.
Reyniers is survived by his beloved wife, Janet, daughters Katlin and Brianne, stepsons Steven (Jessica) Podlaski, Jonathan Podlaski and girlfriend Jennifer Schiff, and Paul (Judy) Podlaski. Grandchildren Kyle, Alison, Charles, Samantha, Katie, and Madelyn Podlaski. Predeceased by his mother, Joyce (nee Rebernick), and his father, Wayne.