Soldier and chemist find love in Georgia |

Soldier and chemist find love in Georgia

When 22-year-old Rex Hunter Clayton, a 2002 Nevada Union graduate, first saw 28-year-old Jaime Lynn Rheinecker, he was captured by her unforgettable smile – and she by his upbeat personality.

“I think it was because she was very smart and very pretty,” Clayton said, describing his attraction upon seeing his future wife. “But I liked her smile the best.”

“He’s the first younger man I’ve dated,” Rheinecker said. “After going through graduate school, you’re around the same stodgy people all the time. Rex is really refreshing.”

Introduced by a mutual friend, the pair met in Suwanee, Ga., at Jeffrey’s Sports Bar and Grille. Clayton had been stationed at nearby Fort Gillem as an explosive ordnance disposal technician for the United States Army. Rheinecker was interning in molecular modeling to aid in drug research as a post-doctoral fellow at Emory University in Atlanta.

“We have mutual friends from my program at school,” Rheinecker said. “We were introduced by Rex’s best friend, Scott Tinney, who left the graduate chemistry program to enlist. He and Rex served together in Iraq.”

While out buying eggs with Rheinecker’s father, Stephen Rheinecker, of Kingston Springs, Tenn., Clayton gathered the courage to ask for his daughter’s hand in marriage.

“The week prior to when I asked her to marry me, we drove up to meet her parents,” Clayton said. “That was really important to me.”

After receiving Rheinecker’s father’s blessings, Clayton created a perfect proposal at one of their favorite date spots in the Georgia Aquarium Deep Sea exhibit.

“It was a huge amazing aquarium,” Rheinecker said. “We were sitting in a bubble window surrounded by whale sharks.”

“She said ‘yes’ without any hesitation,” Clayton said.

The son of Sloan and Darryl Clayton of Nevada City, Rex Clayton already served one tour of duty in Iraq. He is stationed in Schofield Barracks on the island of Oahu, Ha., where he and his soon-to-be wife expect to remain for the next three years.

“She supports what I do and supports my career choices,” Clayton said.

“I’m really proud of him,” Rheinecker said. “I think it’s a really honorable thing. He knew what he was getting into when he started. It’s hard to think about him leaving, especially because we’re just starting out but we’ll manage.”

Rheinecker has published her work, with fellow researchers, in the Scientia Journal of Student Research. She hopes to continue a career in pharmaceutical or biotech chemistry.

The couple plans to wed on the beach at Magic Island on O’ahu on July 7, 2007, at sunset – predicted for 7:07 p.m.

“It’s kind of a little fantasy,” Rheinecker said.


To contact Staff Writer Lindsey Croft, e-mail or call 477-4247.

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