Rhea Reese, from Roscoe, Missouri (near Osceola) passed away peacefully at home on Saturday, February 27th. His wife, Kathy and daughter-in-law, Barbara took loving care of him during his final battle with Mets cancer.
Rhea was born on October 24, 1927 to Lafayette (Fate) Sterling Reese (deceased) and Edna Eudoris Gitchell Reese Wilson (deceased) in Lauderdale County, Tennessee. He was the oldest of two siblings: Sterling Wallace Reese, who currently resides in Osceola, Missouri and Sylvia Maxine Reese Kirk Myhrvold (deceased).
His early years in and about Ripley, Tennessee were hard. The family made a living primarily picking cotton. Wages were poor: Adults – $1 a day. Children – .75 a day. Rhea followed his younger brother, Wally, to Oregon in 1946 to earn higher wages as a choker setter. They worked 12-hour days side by side. He injured his back logging which caused considerable pain and partial disability throughout his lifetime.
He met a beautiful 6’1” strawberry blonde who had aspirations to become a lab/x-ray technician and that set Rhea on a new path. He got his GED, pursued, and both accomplished this goal. Rhea and Wilanna (Lana) Mae Fisk got married and had 4 children, William (Bill) Douglas Reese, Jerry Wayne Reese, Marcia Lynette Reese (deceased), and Norman Rhea Reese. They worked side by side for many years in Coos and Curry County/Oregon hospitals. Rhea was very close to his mother, sister, and brother. All of his sons reside in the state of Oregon.
He is survived by his wife, Kathy Perkin Hash Reese. His brother, Sterling (Wally) Wallace Reese and wife, Viola of Osceola; his children, Bill and wife, Georgia, Jerry and wife Leslie, and Norman; grandchildren, Jim, Jake, Brooke, Shanna and Tiffany; great grandchildren, Nicholas, Jackson, Kobe and Jayden and great great-grandson, Camden Carlin, five stepchildren, Donnie Hash and wife, Carol, William Hash and wife, Barbara, Sandra Hash and Michael Hash; five step grandchildren, Elizabeth, Trey, Katie, Martha, and Ethan and one step great grandson, Caden Hash.. Numerous nieces, nephews and many cousins who still live in Lauderdale County, Tennessee also survive..
Rhea was indeed blessed with three good wives, Lana, Marie Davidson, and Kathy Reese.
He will be remembered for being a man who loved his family, was passionate about horses, gardening, yard work, and never minded putting in a full day’s work.