Following his high school graduation, he served from 1944-46 in the U.S. Army during WWII. He was a corporal in the 274th Infantry Regiment-Company L serving in France and Germany. He was awarded the Combat Infantryman's Badge, Bronze Star, Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-Africa-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, Victory Medal, WWII Army of Occupation Medal-Germany and the National Defense Medal.
Following his military service, his family moved to a farm near Oakton, Mo. He married Betty Sue Beall on Nov. 18, 1952, in Lamar, Mo. They started a family and farmed near Lamar until they moved to Fort Scott, Kan., in 1964.
Gary was a district sales manager of Moorman Mfg. Co. for a four county area in Southeast Kansas for 25 years. Gary was actively involved in the Fort Scott community. He served as Boy Scout Master for Troop 114, past president for the Mercy Hospital Auxiliary, past commander of VFW 1165 and the past commander of the Combat Infantryman's Association. He was currently the president of the UOAA. He was a past volunteer for the Fort Scott National Historic Site.
He was also a 50-year member of both the Grand Lodge of Missouri at Lamar and the Royal Arch Mason-Chapter 50 in Nevada. Gary's Christian faith was central to his life. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Fort Scott. He participated in United Methodist Men and was a member of the M&M Homebuilders Sunday School Class. Through his profession and many activities, Gary gained many longtime friends. During his lifetime he enjoyed bowling, golfing, traveling and especially fishing.
Survivors include his wife, Betty, of the home; a sister, Norma Porter, of El Paso, Texas; his three children, David Reed of Oklahoma City, Okla., Col. (retired) Doug Reed and wife Kathy, of Panama City, Fla., and Susan (Reed) Brown and husband Dean, of Inman, Kan.; six grandchildren, Karsen Brown, Emily Reed, Kit Robertson and wife Sarah, Randi Robertson, Justin Reed and Ryan Reed; and one great grandchild, Colton Reed. He was preceded in death by one brother, Elmer A. Reed.
Rev. Kenton Van will conduct funeral services at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 7, at the First United Methodist Church. Burial will follow in the U.S. National Cemetery, with military honors by members of VFW Post No. 1165. The family will receive friends from 10 a.m. until service time in the mini parlor of the First United Methodist Church. Memorials are suggested to the First United Methodist Church of Fort Scott, or the Mercy Health Center Auxiliary and may be left in care of the Cheney Witt Chapel, P.O. Box 347, 201 S. Main, Fort Scott, Kan., 66701. Condolences may be submitted to the online guestbook at cheneywitt.com.