James Clare Reed, 94, of Ririe, passed away Saturday, August 3, 2013, at his home.
He was born August 23, 1918, on Butler Island near Ririe, Idaho, to James Henry Reed and Maude Armstrong Reed, and spent his childhood assisting on the family farms near Ririe and Birch Creek. He attended school in Ririe, Idaho, and was in the first freshman class of the new Ririe High School. He was class president of his junior class. He attended the University of Idaho Southern Branch and graduated from Utah State Agriculture College. The day after graduation, in June 1942, he joined the United States Marine Corps. He served as a Marine Lieutenant in four major battles in the South Pacific: Guadalcanal, Vela La Vella, Peleliu and Okinawa. His Marine Company received a Presidential Citation for their valor at Peleliu, one of the most ferocious battles of the South Pacific.
On May 8, 1943, Clare married Gwenevere Hymas, a very talented and accomplished musician. He shipped overseas 10 days later. They were sealed in the Salt Lake City Temple in December of 1944. With her musical talents, Gwen opened many doors for him in their many moves to new locations.
After the war, he worked for the United States Department of Agriculture as a Range Conservationist in west Texas. He was then a Soil Conservationist in Great Falls, Montana; American Falls, Idaho; Wenatchee, Washington; and Rexburg, Idaho. While in Rexburg, Clare and his staff were awarded the U.S.A.D. Superior Service Award by the Secretary of Agriculture, Ezra Taft Benson. His last assignment was as an Area Conservationist in Bismarck, North Dakota, where he covered much of the state. After retiring in 1978, he moved back to Idaho to his farm near Ririe, Idaho, which is just down the road from where he grew up. Farm life was always his great love.
He was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He served in many positions including bishoprics, Sunday School President, Branch president in Bismarck for 10 years, District Councilor to two Indian Reservations, Scout Commissioner, Scoutmaster, High Councilor, and High Priest Group Leader. He and his wife, Gwen, served as Temple Officiators in the Idaho Falls Temple for 19 years. He also served as a Temple Sealer. He and his wife also served together on a mission to the Hopi Indians in Arizona.
Wherever he lived, Clare was active in many community and civic activities. He was a charter member of the Rexburg Kiwanis Club and a member of the local Lions Club in Wenatchee.
His main interests outside of his family and work were most everything outdoors – fishing, boating, snowmobiling and golfing. He also loved to travel and was able to visit several countries and all but two states in the United States.
Clare is survived by his five children, Steve (Ranel) Reed of Blackfoot, Terry "Jack" (Sandy) Reed and Ronald (Gayle) Reed, all of Ririe, Sharon Jones of Aurora, Colo., and Evelyn (Bruce) Bryner of Idaho Falls; 25 grandchildren; and 52 great-grandchildren, with four more on the way; siblings, Ruth Withers, Gale (Delila) Reed, Delaine (Moylen) Young, Barbara (J. Richard) Clarke and Carol Sue Nef.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Gwen; his parents; his brothers, Verdas Reed and Glenn Reed; his sisters, Eloise and Eleanor Graham Bennion; and his son-in-law, Harold Jones.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6, at the Ririe Stake Center, 14061 N. 130 East in Ririe. The family will visit with family and friends from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 5, at Eckersell Memorial Chapel, 101 W. Main St. in Rigby, and from 9 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. Tuesday prior to services at the church. Burial will be in Ririe-Shelton Cemetery.
The family wishes to thank our nurse and the aides from Aspen Hospice who lovingly assisted in caring for our father.
Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.eckersellfuneralhome.com.