Neil Reed, 36, passed away suddenly Thursday morning, July 26, at Marian Medical Center in Santa Maria, CA. He was surrounded by his family and many close friends. Neil will be remembered as a wonderful son and brother, devoted husband, adoring father and faithful friend. Neil was born in Hot Springs, Ark., on November 29, 1975. From the moment he could dribble a basketball, Neil developed a passion for the game. When he graduated from East Jefferson High School in Metairie, LA in 1994 and awarded the honor of McDonald's All-American, he went on to fulfill a dream and played college ball at Indiana University. He was a Hoosier from 1995-1997 and then transferred to Southern Mississippi, where he played basketball and graduated as an Academic All-American, and graduated with a degree in Coaching and Sports Administration. After college, he found his way to Los Angeles, CA in 2001, where he met the love of his life, Kelly. They married in 2004 and had two beautiful daughters. He continued his graduate education at Chapman University and obtained his Master's Degree in the Art of Teaching in 2006. He worked as a teacher and coach at Pioneer Valley High School in Santa Maria, CA, where he was known as a favorite teacher on campus for his deep involvement with the students. Neil was very involved with sports and loved to share his talents and knowledge with others. On any given day off, Neil found be found on the golf course with some of his buddies. Neil was known and will be remembered for his great sense of humor, deep love for his family, his loyalty, and as a friend to all. He is survived by his parents, Terry and Patricia Reed; his wife Kelly and two daughters; sister Michelle Williams and brother-in-law Zach Williams; three nieces and three nephews; grandmother, Alberta Dawes; in-laws Ken and Jan Fischer and Scott and Rebecca Cramer, and many uncles, aunts, cousins and friends. Neil's favorite quote, and one he lived by, was from legendary Coach John Wooden: "Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are while your reputation is merely what others think you are." Contributions can be made to The Neil Reed Memorial Scholarship Fund, Panther Valley High School, 675 Panther Drive, Santa Maria, CA 93454. Memorial Services will be held Sunday, July 29, in Nipomo, Calif., at 1 p.m.
Published in TheAdvocate.com on July 29, 2012