James O'Quinn Reese
1929 - 2017
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ODESSA - Jim Reese, (James O'Quinn Reese), passed away peacefully with his family by his side this past Friday, September 15, 2017. A former Mayor of Odessa, Jim was a devoted husband, caring father, proud grandfather, blessed great-grandfather, successful business man, and a loving friend. Jim was born in Comanche County, Texas on December 14, 1929 to Arvil (Fisher) and Mary Louise Reese. Because Fisher worked on the railroad, Jim attended over fifteen schools before finally graduating from Gustine High School at the age of sixteen. He then spent two years at Howard Payne University in Brownwood, Texas, before transferring to the University of Texas at Austin, where he obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. At the University of Texas, Jim happened upon Jayne Damron while out for a walk and it was love at first sight. Jim and Jayne tied the knot on September 14, 1951 and immediately moved to Evanston, Illinois where Jim completed a Master of Arts from Northwestern University, with a focus on radio and television. From 1953 to 1955 Jim served in the United States Air Force in Tripoli, Libya amongst other locales.

After his discharge from the Air Force, Jim began his broadcasting career at KCBD-TV Channel 11, the NBC affiliate in Lubbock, Texas. He then worked for a number of news stations before moving to Odessa, where he would be a sports anchorman from 1956 to 1964 at KOSA-TV, Channel 7. After eight years, Jim left the station to become a stockbroker at Eppler, Guerin and Turner (EGT). He became a very successful broker, eventually managing the Odessa office. Jim devoted much time to the Junior Chamber International (Jaycees), and was President of the local Jaycee chapter as well as a national vice president. His involvement with the Jaycees eventually led Jim to run for Mayor of Odessa in 1968, winning by a large margin. Throughout his terms as Mayor of Odessa Jim brought many economic and social benefits to the city, including the city's first 911 emergency service, dempsey dumpster trash containers and those large wind resistant traffic light signals you see today. He also played a significant role in bringing the University of Texas-Permian Basin to Odessa. Jim enjoyed a long and successful career in politics, running for U.S. Congress twice as well as the Texas Senate, in addition to serving on the State Republican Executive Committee for many years. Shifting his focus private business in 1982 Jim opened Penatek Industries, a centrifugal casting foundry in Odessa, where he worked until he retired in 2015.

Jim was an extremely talented singer and actor as evidenced by his long time involvement with the Permian Playhouse. He showed his passion and support for the Playhouse by participating in their shows and also helping to raise funds for the permanent Permian Playhouse theater located on 42nd Street in Odessa. He was an avid golfer and played in many golf tournaments throughout the region winning multiple titles including the Muleskinner tournament with his brother-in-law and best friend Sam Damron in Muleshoe. He supported the YMCA of Odessa and helped raise funds for the building and construction of the current YMCA of Odessa located on University Street.

Jim's contributions to television, politics, and business in West Texas were substantial. However, in his own mind, his greatest accomplishment in the community was, in part, a response to he and Jayne having a special needs daughter, Lori Jan. He became involved with the Permian Basin Rehabilitation Center. Not only did he serve on the board of the PBRC, he also hosted the Easter Seals Telethon, benefitting the center, for 35 years. Many years, the Permian Basin telethon raised more money per capita than any telethon in the country. His charismatic personality lifted the spirits of everyone around him and he tirelessly worked to raise money and support for the Rehab Center.

Jim is preceded in death by his parents, his wife Jayne, daughter Lori Jan Reese, sister-in-law Billie Joan Smith and her husband John, sister-in-law Elaine Damron, and son-in-law William Robert (Bill) Rigney.

Jim is survived by his daughter Greta Rigney of Midland and her three sons and their families, Joe Rigney and wife Jenny of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and their sons Sam and Peter, Robby Rigney and wife Alison of Midland and their son Will, and Daniel Rigney and wife Kayla of Midland and their son William. He is also survived by his son James "Rocky" Reese and wife Carol of Horseshoe Bay, Texas and their three daughters and their families, Bethany Gibson and husband Aaron of Andrews with their children, Caroline, Hannah, Natalie and Rhett, their daughter Susan Schultz and husband Tommy of Marble Falls, Texas and their children Parker and Penny, Allison Farmer and husband Justin of Atlanta, Georgia and their children Sarah Kate, James and Wallace - a total of six grandchildren and thirteen great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother-in-law and close friend Sam Damron.

Jim was a God-fearing man who was quick to show compassion to strangers and was willing to lend a helping hand to anyone in need. He formed many friendships throughout his years that continue to have an impact on the community to this day. Whether he was regaling a crowd with captivating stories, discussing politics and business from his years of experience, or singing songs by Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra, Jim was always the life of any party.

Visitation will be Monday September 18, 2017 from 6-8pm at Hubbard Kelly Funeral Home Chapel 601 N . Alleghany. A Graveside Service will be Tuesday September 19, 2017 at 9:00am. at Sunset Memorial Gardens Odessa, Texas. A service will follow at First Presbyterian church at 10:00am. at 1401 N. Sam Houston Ave. Odessa, Texas.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Permian Basin Rehabilitation Center, 620 N. Alleghaney, Odessa, TX 79761 in Jim's honor.

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Published in Odessa American on Sep. 17, 2017.
06:00 - 08:00 PM
Graveside service
09:00 AM
Sunset Memorial Gardens
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11 entries
November 3, 2017
Jim was one of he finest men I have ever worked with.......his mentoring of me in the business world provided my career the strength that I needed to succeed........his golf friendship with me was the very best., he felt that every putt could be made irrespective of the distance.....................he was a perfect gentleman, a leader of real men, a fierce competitor with elegance, and always full of life and compassion I loved Jim like the older brother I never had he will never be forgotten
Lance Tarrance
October 2, 2017
What a loss for Odessa. Jim was an awesome person, businessman, leader, organizer, fundraiser and friend. I met him as a leader in Odessa but soon found we had a connection thru Jaycees as well. Praying for his family and the loss we all feel. Wishing I had known earlier. I would have been there to pay respects to a great man. Blessing, hugs and love to the family. Truly sorry for your loss.
Brenda Hansler
September 28, 2017
Dear Greta and Rocky, It saddened Ben and me so much to hear of Jim's passing and to not be able to come to the funeral as we live so far away. We loved Jim so much and will miss him, but know he is with Jayne,Mom, and all our wonderful family in Heaven. We love all of you! Dana and Ben
Dana & Ben Marney
September 27, 2017
It was an honor and pleasure to have met Jim Reese. He was a fine man, leader of his family and community, and hard working businessman. His attributes carried through to my friend Greta, one of his daughters, and her husband, Bill,as they reared their children, worked hard and willingly worked tirelessly for community. God's blessing on all family members as they hold him high and give him back to the Lord. Amen.
Susan and Terry Duffey
September 21, 2017
He will be missed by all of Odessa.
September 19, 2017
Our sincere condolences and prayers to you and your family on the passing of your Father. He was good, decent man, just like Bill. God bless you during this time.
Dennis / Cynthia Grubb
September 18, 2017
Dear Greta, I was so sorry to hear of your dads passing. One of my first recollections of your dad is him coming in to Gross-Parker to pick you up & his whistle for you. Through my lifetime, he always knew who I was. He was such a wonderful steward of God & for the City of Odessa. He will be forever missed, but may it bring all peace to know he is once again with your mom & sister. May his love always comfort & bring all of you peace. God Bless
Diana Banisky Hanway
September 18, 2017
Jim (far right) with Ken, Steve and Lance (r to l) on the 10th Tee at Southern Hills in 2001. This shot was taken a few days after The US Open.
Steve Rhatigan
September 18, 2017
Our memories of this beloved man were through Easter Seals/PB Rehab Telethon. The year our dear Jennie was poster child was one of the last Telethon's that Jim worked a long shift. We look back on that experience fondly!
Our prayers for Greta and the family will continue. You all are greatly loved and thought of at this time of loss.
Kathy & Jennie Rhodes
September 18, 2017
What great memories we have of Jim. We met him in the Jaycees and started a great friendship. Through his campaign's for US Congress and Texas Senate. We loved to go out with Jim and Jane, he always sang to us and we had so much fun. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Vern and Charlotte Foreman
Vern & Charlotte Foreman
September 18, 2017
I'm so sorry for your loss.

May the God of all comfort, bring comfort to the Reese family during these difficult times.

(2 Corin.1:3,4)
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