William J. Reese, a longtime resident of Williamsburg and more recently Southampton, N.Y., and of La Jolla, Calif., died at home in La Jolla of cancer on Wednesday, Nov. 30.
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Born in Coronado, Calif., on April 24, 1943, he was the son of Hope King Reese and Wilbur Roy Reese. The Reese family moved to Williamsburg when he was seven, and he attended the James Blair High School before enrolling in the University of Virginia as an undergraduate. From 1966 to 1968, he served in the Navy on a search and rescue ship off the coast of Vietnam. Upon completion of his military service, he returned to school and graduated with Bachelor of Architecture degree in 1971.
After receiving his professional certification in 1973, he spent several years working for architecture firms in the Charlottesville and Newport News area before relocating to La Jolla, Calif., in 1977. He practiced architecture in the San Diego area until 1982, when he came east to join his friend and colleague Kirby Grimes and set up an office in Bridgehampton. He remained on the East End until 2006, when he returned to California and opened an office in La Jolla.
Over the years, he designed more than 225 projects, including single family residences, high rise and low rise apartment buildings and various commercial projects. His work was featured in numerous publications, including, among others, Home Magazine, House & Garden, Woman's Day, The New York Times, Glamour, and Metropolitan Home, in which his home in Shinnecock hills was featured on the cover and chosen as House of the Year.
He was also the recipient of several design awards, including two from the American Institute of Architects.
He especially enjoyed looking at art, drawing, listening to music, playing Boggle, watching the sun set, and spending time with his children.
He is survived by a daughter, Hope Elizabeth Reese of Cambridge, Mass.; and his son, Alexander Danforth Reese of Southampton, N.Y.; two sisters, Sandy Hoyer of Dover, Del., and Linda Neidermeyer of Palm Desert, Calif.; and two nieces, Jayme Tortorici and Beth Beuchotte.
A private family gathering will be planned.
Online condolences may be registered at www.vagazette.com.
Published in Virginia Gazette from Oct. 9 to Oct. 10, 2012