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John Reece

The life adventure of John Foster Reece ended on Sunday, Oct. 21 in Silver City, N.M. John passed away in his home surrounded by family members at the age of 71. A celebration and opportunity to share stories of John's life will be held on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012 from 1 – 4 p.m. at 78 Spring Creek Road in Silver City. John was born on April 18, 1941 in Ogden, Utah. He was the firstborn child of John (Jack) A. Reece and Arley M. Reece of Silver City and he soon became a brother to twin sisters Frances and Kathryn. Laughter was the main ingredient of their childhood in Great Falls, Mont. and Boise, Idaho. They were children surrounded by love. As a boy, John was fascinated with nature; collecting fossils, found treasures, and bones. In his room, he had an apothecary of lizards in jars preserved for future enjoyment and inspection. He became an active Cub Scout and Boy Scout reaching the rank of Eagle Scout as a young teen. In 1956, the Reece family moved to Albuquerque, N.M. where he attended Albuquerque High. John could swim like a fish and was soon competing and lettering in swimming. It was at AHS he met his high school sweetheart, and, after graduating in 1959, they were married in 1962 in Albuquerque and went on to have 3 children: Johnny, Debbie and Robert. John completed the University of New Mexico Pharmacy degree program and became a licensed pharmacist in 1965, a career he would excel in for almost 40 years. From 1966 to 1972, he served as medical specialist in the Army National Guard. As an adult, his love of the wild and the outdoors took him to amazing places. He backpacked the Wind River Range in Wyoming and fly-fished the rivers of Montana, traded beads in Mexico, surfed in Hawaii, sailed the Caribbean, and explored the Galapagos Islands with his children. What a free spirit. John spread this love of the outdoors and discovery to everyone he knew. He loved the mountains! John was a man who could build and make things with his hands and create art. He could tinker and fix anything, and his welded sculptures and jewelry were incredible. He thrived on connecting with people through generosity and kindness. Through Children International, John faithfully sponsored many young people over the years watching his support change their lives. He loved making people smile. As a local pharmacist, one-time owner of Howell Drug, and outspoken owner of Red Star Fireworks his infectious grin and adventurous spirit touched many lives in Silver City. He experienced all the struggles of a life fully lived and, to quote someone he loved very much, "John's was a spark of energy not easily dimmed." While alive he said, "Put my ashes in the Rio Grande… I want to go to Mexico one more time." That's where he'll be. Adios, John. John is survived by his 2 sons, Johnny Long and Robert Long; daughter, Debbie Long; 2 sisters, Frances Day and Kathryn Eaton of Silver City; 4 nephews, David and RJ Peck, Jim and Mike Creasser. He was preceded in death by his father and mother, John (Jack) A. Reece and Arley M. Reece, of Silver City. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of John F. Reece to: Children International 2000 East Red Bridge Road, Kansas City, MO 64121 www.children.org. To send condolences, please log in to: www.bacasfuneralchapels.com. Entrusted to the care of Baca's Funeral Chapels of Silver City, Baca's Silver City Crematory, 3805 Delk Drive. Phone 388-2334. Exclusive provider for "Veterans & Family Memorial Care."

Published in Las Cruces Sun-News on Oct. 31, 2012
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