James Reeder
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James Arthur Reeder



James Arthur Reeder, age 78, passed from this life on Sunday, the 1st of April 2012, after a valiant battle with cancer. His life was a testament to his motto that "Happiness is now."

Born on the 29th June 1933, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana to James Brown Reeder and Grace Britt Reeder, the family moved to Shreveport, Louisiana in 1939. He graduated from C.E. Byrd High School in 1951. Jim attended Washington & Lee University where he was a member of Beta Theta Pi Fraternity, graduating with honors in 1955. After serving as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, he attended Southern Methodist University Law School, where he met his soul mate, life partner and joyous co-adventurer, Leone Guthrie. They married in 1958 and began a devoted and enviable partnership which never wavered to the end of both of their days. Jim continued his legal education at the University of Texas School of Law (L.L.B. 1960) and, L.S.U. Law School (J.D. 1961). From 1961-1972, he practiced law at Booth, Lockard, Jack, Pleasant and LeSage in Shreveport, ultimately becoming the firm's managing partner.

Reeder converted to Catholicism in 1967 and entered his service to the Catholic Church with fervor and passion, serving on the Diocesan Council for Shreveport, as well as the board of St. Joseph's Catholic School. For the rest of his life, he served as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion and Lector in Catholic communities in Shreveport, Houston, and Washington.

Dedicated to community service, Jim was recently recognized for the countless hours he spent in the 1960s organizing voter registrations throughout Caddo Parish to encourage and empower minority voters. He served as President of the Young Lawyers Section of the Louisiana Bar and on the board of the Young Lawyers Section of the American Bar Association. He was named Outstanding Young Lawyer both for Shreveport and Louisiana as well as Louisiana Outstanding Young Man. He also served as President of Holiday in Dixie and Chairman of the Ambassadors Club.

In 1972, Jim formed a multi-racial partnership to purchase radio station KOKA, nurturing some of the finest radio talents in Shreveport. He later added radio stations KCOZ in Shreveport and KKLR in Oklahoma City. In 1985, Leone and Jim moved to Houston, Texas where Jim created Radio USA, expanding his radio interests into markets such as Abilene, Birmingham, Bryan-College Station, Longview, and Omaha. He served on the board of Boys Country and was a member of Houston Country Club.

In the early 1960s through the 1980s, Jim crisscrossed the state of Louisiana in support of a number of political campaigns. He served as Director of Special Projects for lifelong friend Sen. J. Bennett Johnston, Jr. and advised and served countless political leaders in Louisiana, nationally and internationally. In 1991, he and Leone started a new chapter of their lives as they moved to Washington, D.C. where Jim returned to the practice of law as a partner at Patton Boggs, where he remained until his death. He loved Patton Boggs. Known on Capitol Hill as a brilliant story teller and an endless fount of jokes and anecdotes, he was nonetheless a keen strategist and skilled negotiator. In 2007, he was inducted into the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame.

In the midst of his career, Reeder was always on hand to write speeches, shows and jokes, emcee and host events ranging from his children's grade school musical performances to beauty pageants and television shows, including as co-host of "The Charlie Mac Show" with legendary LSU coach Charlie McClendon. Reeder's warm and powerful bass voice filled stadiums as the original voice of the Shreveport Steamer football team and the Independence Bowl. For over 35 years, he served as the emcee of the Washington Mardi Gras Ball. One of his proudest achievements was serving as the narrator of President Barack Obama's Inauguration Parade.

Throughout his life, Jim's gifts for making others feel good about themselves, for making each moment of his life count, for sharing joy and laughter, and shouldering burdens, have left a lasting legacy. Jim and Leone shared a passion for France, and in the last decade, Jim, who his grandchildren called "Bodaddy," honed his talent as a landscape artist, capturing on canvas the beauty of the French countryside he and Leone loved.

Through it all, Leone, the love of Jim's life, accompanied and supported him on each adventure with the memorable smile that was his constant affirmation until she preceded him in death in December 2010. Each of Jim's children, imbued with a unique combination of his diverse talents, is a living testament to his indomitable spirit and a product of his ever-present support.

Jim leaves behind his children; Mary Virginia Reeder of Dallas, James Arthur Reeder, Jr. of Houston, and Elizabeth Reeder Neubauer of Austin; his sons-in-law, Eric Nevil and Rick Neubauer; his grandchildren, Margaret Grace Vroom, James Guthrie Vroom, Grace Kathryn Nevil, Jackson Charles Nevil; his sister, Sally Reeder Schneider of Houston; and cousins, extended family, adopted family, and loved ones too numerous to count.

The family will receive friends during a visitation from five o'clock in the afternoon until seven o'clock in the evening on Wednesday, the 11th of April, 2012 at Rose-Neath Funeral Home, 1815 Marshall Street in Shreveport.

A funeral service is to be conducted at eleven o'clock in the morning on Thursday, the 12th of April, 2012 at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 204 Patton Avenue in Shreveport. Officiating will be Father Richard J. Lombard of St. Joseph's Church and Concelebrant and Homilist will be Father William George, S.J. of Washington, D.C.

The interment will follow at Forest Park Cemetery on St. Vincent in Shreveport.

At a later date, a memorial service, celebrating Mr. Reeder's life, is to be conducted in Washington, D.C.

In lieu of customary remembrances, and for those desiring, the family requests with gratitude that memorial contributions in Mr. Reeder's name be directed to Houston Hospice, 1905 Holcombe Blvd., Houston, TX 77030.

"While we mourn the loss of the unquenchable spirit of Jim among us, Heaven is a better place as a truly inspirational couple is reunited to forever show us all how to live, love and laugh."




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Published in Shreveport Times from Apr. 3 to Apr. 10, 2012.
Memories & Condolences
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34 entries
April 12, 2012
Elizabeth, I remember you and your parents so well and they were always full of fun and love; I am Melissa DeFatta's Kielek's mom, and I think of the fun you two used to have together. I am truly sorry for your loss and the loss of one great man. I know OUR Faith though has taught us he lives on and he is always with you in spirit. May God shine on you always, Mr and Mrs Tommy DeFatta aka Mary Ann Defatta
Mary DeFatta
April 11, 2012
Dear Ginger, Jimmy and Elizabeth,
I have many fond memories of your Dad
and your Mom when your family lived in
Shreveport and you attended St. Joseph's School. Your Mom and Dad were two very
special people. I'm sure they are having a wonderful reunion in Heaven.
My condolences and prayers are with all
of you and your families.
Ellie Sockrider
April 10, 2012
Dear Reeder Family,

I was with your father at Thanksgiving and he was as lively as ever. He may have been fighting cancer in his body, but it in no way touched his spirit. It was a gift to see him and be reminded of that. We are all better for what he shared. Our family's prayers are with you all. I smile at the memory of his smile, and as I presume he would have it, the joy continues.
Parick Long
April 10, 2012
Jimmy (as we called him) was our neighbor during my early childhood. His sister, Sally and I were friends. All the neighbors loved, Sally and Jimmy and their parents. We lived at 135 Preston - their home was right behind ours. I have so many fond memories of those days - of innocence - he was always friendly and helpful - my little brother, Ted (now deceased) really looked up to him. My prayers and thoughts are with this wonderful family - I know you are all very proud of what your father stood for. Fondly and with sympathy, Virginia Lee Hanggi Johnson - Birmingham, Al.
April 9, 2012
An honorable man, whose intellect, wit and unwavering fidelity to God, family and country were his hallmarks. I was privileged to know such a man, James Reeder. Our family's prayers and good thoughts are sent to his survivors.
Stan Tiner
April 9, 2012
Elizabeth and family, I am sorry to hear of your father's passing. My thoughts and prayers to all of you. May his memory be eternal.
Georgia Booras
April 9, 2012
Though we had our differences in broadcasting over the years I am saddened by the passing of Jim. He was a good man to work for and fun to be around. He was honest and candid about himself and enjoyed life.
Tony Onellion
April 8, 2012
We are sorry to here the loss of Mr. Reeder. Our prayers go out to your family.
Joe Modica
April 8, 2012
I remember my next door neighbor on Leo
Street in Shreveport very well. As a child growing up I looked up to him very much...he was always very kind and generous with his time even letting me help him at KEEL one night.
Lee Schwieger
April 6, 2012
Ginger, I just learned today that your father had passed away. It is with my deepest sympathy that I submit this. I love you and miss you. He was one of a kind. Doris Wilson
April 6, 2012
My time at Washington & Lee as a Beta was enriched by having Jim as a brother. He will be missed by all the other Beta brothers.
Scott Clinton
April 6, 2012
Jim: So sorry to hear of your father's passing. I know there is sadness, but I know you will find great joy in celebrating his life. And I am certain he took great pride in you, and that is cause for celebration at this time as well
Ricardo Cedillo
April 5, 2012
So sorry to hear of your father's passing! May you find comfort in your Mom and Dad's final reunion in Heaven! My prayers are with you and your family!
Elizabeth Love Shaller
April 5, 2012
Dear Ginger, Elizabeth and Jimmy,
Our lives were enriched when we met Leone and Jim twenty one years ago. We bless you all and thank you for sharing your wonderful parents with us. The Reeder family has definitely made our lives better.
Ellen and Gene Ames
April 5, 2012
It is with deep regret I learn of Jimmy's passing.We grew up together at Broadmoor School, Cub Scouts,and Byrd High School. Although it has been many years since we talked, he was always considered a long time friend. My condolences to his family. With deep respect, Millard Allen
April 5, 2012
I am so sorry to hear about Big Jim's passing. You know he and Mom are dancing on the clouds.
Love,
Bippy
April 5, 2012
With smiles thinking of each of you and the happy lives you all shared together with Mr. Reeder, Ginger, Jim, Grace and James
Your friend,
Trigger Butler
April 5, 2012
Dear Ginger, Jimmy and Elizabeth, am sorry to hear of the recent passing of your father. Your families will be in my prayers. What a wonderful life he lead! You all must have such great memories and hearts full of pride for both of your loving parents. Take care and God Bless,
Dixie Olmstead George
April 5, 2012
Much love to the three of you and all of the grandchildren as well. They will have many wonderful memories of both their Grandfather and Grandmother. Can you just imagine the stories they will tell when they all get together in years to come? Who could ask for a more wonderful legacy?
Sallyann Paschall
April 5, 2012
Your family is in our prayers. May you be comforted by your happy memories of you Dad.
Mary Mason-Leskowitz, (Hollins College)
Mary Mason Leskowitz
April 5, 2012
I have so many fond memories of being in the presence of Jim and Leone. Heaven is an even better place with the two of them reunited. My love and sympathy go out to Ginger, Jimmy and Elizabeth and the grandchildren.
Martin Walke
April 4, 2012
My heart goes out to you and your family, Liz. Your father was a very inspirational man. I didn't know he was good friends with Bennett Johnson; my brother was friends with him as well. I wonder if your dad and my brother ever met, as they traveled similar circles? One thing is for sure: if they did not meet in this life, they are probably discussing politics in the next.

I send you all the love and light I have to offer, in hopes that you and your family embrace peace and healing wherever you may find it. Have strength and be well.
Christopher Baldwin
April 4, 2012
I remember Jimmy from my Byrd days. He was one of the NICE guys.
Barbara Daniel
April 4, 2012
Your father was one of my favorite people. We had such great times writing, producing, voicing, and hiding the Holiday in Dixie treasure. I am very sorry for your loss.
Larry Ryan (Shreveport, La.)
April 4, 2012
The friendships created, smiles generated, and exceedingly positive social, political and personal advances kindled by James Arthur Reeder are too great to number. Peace to you, dear friend, in being reunited with Leone. Peace, patience, kindness and love to Ginger, Elizabeth, Jimmy, and their children.
Love always,
Whipper
Edward Peterson
April 4, 2012
The Final Salute

“Brothers in Arms”, Military men and women down through the centuries, have traditionally exchanged “Hand Salutes” as a sign of recognition and as a way to render courtesy and respect one to another.

This “Hand Salute” is the last that we shall render to James Arthur (Jim) Reeder our “Brother-in-Arms”. To his family it symbolizes the love and respect that we have for Jim. And to Jim it is rendered as a symbol of honor and gratitude to thank him for the devoted and selfless service he rendered to his country while serving in the U.S. Army. Jim, you are a true patriot, who served with honor and distinction. We bid you a sad farewell. You will be dearly missed from among our ranks. Be at Ease. Rest in Peace.

On behalf of the 1,307 military veteran Legionnaires of Lowe-McFarlane Post 14 of the American Legion, I extend our sympathies and our condolences to Jim's family and loved ones.

Dennis Engdahl, Commander, American Legion Post 14
5315 S. Lakeshore Drive, Shreveport, LA 71109
For the Commander, Carroll R. Michaud
April 4, 2012
Dear Famiy,
I did not know Mr. Reeder, and was looking for someone else but started reading his obituary, and was so touched by his good deeds and works. I was encouraged to continue my ministry and works. I believe he now has wings of an eagle, and would say to all, I have fought a good fight of faith,I have finished my course, and all is well with my soul.
Claudia Ford
April 3, 2012
My condolences go out to the family of Mr. Reeder. May the GOD of all comfort provide whatever is needed so you can cope with your great loss. You can also look forward to a time when those asleep in death will have the prospect of resuming life again free from all causes of death and the grief it brings.
April 3, 2012
Jim and Eric, Grace and Jack, You are all in our prayers during this great loss. Love, Julianne, Doug, Elizabeth and Manning
Julianne Farnsworth
April 3, 2012
Jim, my thoughts and Prayers are with you and your family during this time. I know you feel blessed to have had such a wonderful man to call "DAD". Ann Reid - Houston, TX
Ann Reid
April 3, 2012
Dear Elizabeth,

We are so sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time.

Susan Gaucher Merrill and Beverly Gaucher
April 3, 2012
My condolences to all of you. What a wonderful life he appears to have enjoyed. I wish I had met him. Now I know where Jim got his spirit, courage, and generosity.
Jim Kovach
April 3, 2012
Jim, (your Dad affectionately called you "Jimmy")
I am very sorry for the loss of your father. He was a remarkable man and a very loving person. I admire your strength and courage to proceed through your grief with your mother and now your father. Your parents truly loved you and you were their "special son". I am praying for peace and consolation during this time for you and your family.
Sonja Payne
April 3, 2012
Dear Family,He will missed. I think of all the wonderful times we had in Spring Lake.You are in my thoughts and heart. If there is any thing I can do please let me know.Fondly, Joan Dykes
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