John B. Reeder Sr., 84, died, after an extended illness, at 2:45 a.m. on Saturday, May 19, 2001, in St. Joseph Regional Medical Center, South Bend. He had made his family’s home at 801 S. Michigan St., Plymouth.
John was born on August 9, 1916, in Florence, Alabama, the son of Dr. & Mrs. F. B. Reeder. He graduated from Florence State Teachers College, now the University of North Alabama.
He was thought of by his friends as the epitome of a perfect Southern gentleman; he was kind, thoughtful and soft-spoken.
He first joined Montgomery Ward at Huntsville, Ala., then serving at Blytheville, Ark., thus beginning a forty-five year period of service with Wards, interrupted only by World War II.
He was married on March 28, 1936, in Iuka, Miss., to Kathleen K. Kinnibrugh, the couple were devoted to one another for over sixty-five years.
After three years in the United States Navy, serving in the Pacific Theater, he returned to Wards in Paris, Ill., then later to Poplar Bluff, Missouri, and Nashville, Tenn., followed by Bluffton, Marion and Greencastle Indiana stores.
After coming to Plymouth in 1956, he requested that no more moves be made. He appreciated the high quality of the schools and other important considerations of life in Plymouth. A highly respected and competent executive, his wishes were honored. He managed the local store for seventeen years until it was closed.
John was then transferred to the Grand Rapids, Mich. facility and the Ludington, Mich. store which he managed until he took early retirement in 1979. He and Kathleen then returned to Plymouth, their chosen home.
During his life in Plymouth, John was a member of the Kiwanis Club, the Plymouth Kilwinning Masonic Lodge #149, the Scottish Rite Consistory and the Toastmaster’s Club. A member of the First United Methodist Church, he served as a volunteer treasurer for sixteen years.
He was an avid reader and interested in the growth of the Plymouth Public Library. The Young Adult Room, a first for Plymouth, will be in the new section of the library and will be named the John B. Reeder Family Young Adult Room.
Susie Reinholt, director of the library said “ we are so grateful. It is so amazing to me,” she said,“ that the family, in the middle of this very difficult time, thought so much of the community that they wanted to give us all a gift.”
In presenting the gift, John’s last statement was that the family wanted to publicly express their appreciation of the quality of life that they have enjoyed in Plymouth.
John is survived by his spouse and their two children, a daughter, Ann R. Powell, Indianapolis, Ind., and a son, John B. Reeder, Jr., of Bryan, Texas.
Three grandchildren and five great-grandchildren survive as well.
His parents and a brother preceded John in death.
Friends may visit with the family on Tuesday, May 22, 2001, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Johnson-Danielson Funeral Home, 1100 N. Michigan St., Plymouth, and on Wednesday, May 23, 2001, from 10 to 11 a.m. in the First United Methodist Church, 400 N. Michigan St., Plymouth.
Funeral services, conducted by the Rev. Larry Houseman, pastor of the church, will be held at 11 a.m. following visitation in the church.
A burial service will be held at the Maple Hill Cemetery in Huntsville, Alabama at 3 p.m. Friday, May 25, 2001 with Rev. John Johnston officiating. The Spry Funeral Home, 2411 Memorial Parkway NW, Huntsville, Alabama is in charge of local arrangements.
Preferred memorials in the memory of John Reeder may be made to the First United Methodist Church or to a charity of the donor’s choice.