Jean Miller Shelly Reese, 88, died peacefully Tuesday at the Masonic Health Care Center, Elizabethtown.
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Born in Allentown, she was a graduate of Allentown High School and Cedar Crest College.
Growing up, she enjoyed horseback riding, traveling, and playing sports like volleyball, field hockey and swimming.
She had plans to pursue a career as a histologic technician and work her way across the country, until she had a date with her niece's elementary school teacher, John "Jack" Reese. As she would later say, that date eventually led her to trade in her horse for a husband. She gladly embarked on her new career as wife and mother and later as a pastor's wife.
She enthusiastically supported her husband and their children in all their endeavors, especially encouraging their musical talents. Eventually, she did return to work, but her purpose was no longer to establish a career, but rather to help get the children through college.
She retired from the Pottsville Hospital laboratory after 18 years of service.
She resided in numerous cities in Pennsylvania, including Allentown, Philadelphia, Port Carbon, Pottsville, Slatington and Mahanoy City, before retiring to the Masonic Village, Elizabethtown.
Before her health curtailed further travel, she and her husband, Jack, were able to take some memorable trips during their retirement, visiting family and friends in Texas, Florida, North Carolina and Virginia.
She had a keen sense of humor and, occasionally, would get the last laugh. She especially enjoyed reading, making crafts from plastic canvas, playing pinochle and other games and collecting owls.
She was a 59-year member of the Order of the Eastern Star, serving most recently as the past matron in the Cressona Chapter 367 in Schuylkill Haven.
When her health deteriorated and she moved into the Health Care Center, she loved to participate in the bingo games and the monthly restaurant outings and continued to grow her owl collection.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Llewellyn and Meda Shelly; brothers, Willard and Jay Shelly; and her husband, John "Jack" Reese.
She is survived by children, Evan and Linda Reese, Bethlehem, Bryn and Linda Reese, Mountain Top, Gwen and Stevan Sembroski, Kannapolis, N.C., and Alan and Lois Reese, Norfolk, Va.; five grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
A memorial service of thanksgiving for a Christian going home will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Roosevelt Assembly Room in Elizabethtown Masonic Village. There will be no calling hours. Arrangements are by James H. Evans Funeral Home Inc., St. Clair. Interment will be private in Odd Fellows Cemetery, Saint Clair. The family would prefer contributions be made to the Employee Appreciation Gift Fund, 1 Masonic Drive, Elizabethtown, PA 17022.
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James H. Evans Funeral Home
347 South 2nd St
St. Clair , PA 17970
Published in Republican & Herald on Aug. 14, 2014