Gene Reece

Our dear and beloved son, brother, uncle, nephew, and friend, Wilbur Gene Reece, passed away on March 25, 2024, at the age of 89 years old.  He was born in Marshall, Arkansas on December 25, 1934, and was the oldest child born to Bryan Reece and Edith Pearl (House) Reece.  Within the next ten years, he became the older brother of Barbara Lynn and Charles Blaine.  When Gene was twelve years old, his family moved to a farm located just north of Green Forest, Arkansas near Yocum Creek and the Fanning Community.  A few years later, his family, moved to the town of Green Forest, where Gene lived for the rest of his life.  He graduated from Green Forest High School in 1957.  Gene had a devout and unwavering belief in God, and every year, he read his Bible from beginning to end.  On Sundays, Gene could be found at the Green Forest Baptist Church where he enjoyed worshipping with his church family and singing in the choir.

Over time, Gene became well known in his hometown and, almost daily, he could be seen walking the streets of Green Forest.  Gene knew the names of most of the townspeople, and he was happy to chat with anyone he happened to meet along his way.  Gene also a kept a supply of envelopes and stamps on hand, so he could correspond with his far-flung friends. Gene also attended the annual Agri Days events where he liked listening to the musical performances.

Gene especially enjoyed attending high school sports events.  He was born with an uncanny memory and could recite the names of the players and the scores and stats for the many Green Forest football, basketball, baseball, soccer, and volleyball game that he attended.  He often spoke of his memories watching the Green Forest Tigers win the the Basketball Tournament of Champions in Springfield (1956) and back-to-back Arkansas State Champion Basketball Tournaments (1967 and 1968).  

Before his passing, Gene was the oldest living relative of the extended Reece family (hailing from Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Indiana).  He is preceded in death by his parents and nephew Robbie Estes and is survived by his sister Barbra Lynn (Reece) McCreary, brother Charles Blaine Reece, sister-in-law Carrie Reece, and nephew Charles Todd Reece.  “We love you, Gene!”

Celebration of Life service for Gene will be 12:00 PM, Saturday, April 6 at Fred Grim Gymnasium at Green Forest High School (800 N Tommy Ratzlaff Ave.) with Pastor Randy Johnson officiating. Interment will follow at Glenwood Cemetery. Visitation will be 6 – 8 PM, Friday, April 5 at Fred Grim Gymnasium. Online condolences can be made at www.smithfamilyfuneralhome.net.