George R. Reese, Jr., 84, of Ellwood City (Wurtemburg), passed away peacefully on Sunday morning, February 10, 2013 at St. Clair Hospital in Mount Lebanon.
He was born in Ellwood City on February 28, 1928 to the late George and Ethel Miller Reese, Sr.
He was a graduate of Ellwood City High School, class of 1946, attended Grove City College, graduated from Geneva College in 1954. He attained a masters degree in education from the University of Pittsburgh in 1959. He attained his principals certificate in 1968 from Westminster University. .
He was a veteran of the US Army, serving late in World War II, in 88th Division Special Police in Northern Italy.
He began his career as a teacher at Lincoln High School in 1954 in social studies, and civics. He became assistant principal at Lincoln in 1971, until his retirement in 1989.
Mr. Reese took pleasure in the many extracurricular activities he sponsored, in the school and the community. He started the Dance Club (which began to award charitable scholarships to needy students), debate panels, Students for Young Adults Voting Rights, and sponsored Key Club; he worked many summers as Red Cross Swimming Instructor at Ewing Park Pool from 1954-1969, teaching many in the Ellwood area how to swim.
During his entire life, he was active in political and legislative matters. He was a member of Common Cause PA; and state legislative chairman of PSEA 1959-72; and political counsel of the PA School Board Assn. bringing hundreds of thousands of dollars back to the local area.
He was also active in veteran affairs, serving as member and officer in the legislative committee of American Legion Post #157, and began a support group for returning Desert Storm veterans in 1991-2. He was speaker at many parades and Memorial Day programs locally. He also initiated the flag to be flown permanently at Lincoln High School, and started indoor Veterans Day programs there.
Reese also served his church, as a deacon and elder at Calvin Presbyterian Church in Ellwood City. He also was a Sunday school teacher, and sang in the church choir.
An avid golfer, he worked as head starter at DelMar Golf Course, and played in several leagues. He also enjoyed skiing, ice skating, and swimming. George also enjoyed his grandchildren, watching Justin and Amanda play soccer and softball.
He worked in several movies made in the local area, played with Sinbad in “Houseguest” and with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck in “Dogma” with his wife. He acted with many stars, such as Bruce Willis, Michael Douglas, Susan Sarandon, and Woody Harrelson.
He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Goldie Cochran Reese, whom he married on October 25, 1952.
Two sons and daughters in-law also survive: Mark (and Judy ) Reese of Pleasant Hills PA; and Wade (and Beth) Reese of Harrisburg. Two grandchildren, Justin and Amanda Reese survive as well as one brother, David Reese of Ellwood City and two sisters: Pat Vargo of Ellwood City and JoAn Niles of BelAir MD. In addition to his parents, he was preceded by two sisters: Dolly Burcik and Donna Marie Reese.
Friends will be received from 4 – 8 P.M. on Tuesday, February 12, 2013 in the TURNER FUNERAL HOME of Ellwood City, Sixth Street at Park Avenue.
Services will be conducted at Calvin Presbyterian Church on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 11 A.M. with Pastor Sean Brubaker and Rev. James Latta officiating. Burial will be in Butler County Memorial Park, Butler. The Veterans Honor Guard will provide full military honors at Calvin Church, with bagpipe accompaniment.
Memorials may be made to the Calvin Presbyterian Church, 615 Crescent Avenue, Ellwood City, PA 16117.
You may view the obituary, sign the guestbook, or send condolences online at www.turnerfh.com.