William "Bill" Reese
Bill Reese was born on the family farm in Lawton, Oklahoma on May 21, 1927, the second of five boys. He was raised picking cotton, milking cows and making mischief with his brothers. In later years, his family moved to California to work in the military war factories. He graduated from Los Angeles Polytechnic High School at the age of 16. He attended Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma and the University of New Mexico on basketball scholarships, then served in Korea with the 45th Division before beginning his career in the oil fields of Oklahoma.
He moved to Wyoming and worked for Halliburton as a hydraulic fracturing operator and Minerals Management as a consultant in later years. He married Jean Marie (Finch) and became the father to Steven, Anne and Carolyn. The family lived in Newcastle and Casper, Wyoming. Our family will remember his sense of humor, engaging grin and love for his family. He was a good cribbage and domino player and won our first boat in a poker game. He loved fishing and the family went on many camping trips around the state. Jackson Lake became his favorite fishing spot and we treasure his black book of notes about water temperature, depth, lures and locations for the best fish.
Bill passed away on February 1, 2017 and was greeted by his infant daughter; parents, James A. and Annie B. Reese; his mother-in-law, Marie A. Finch; his brother, James Alfred “Junior” Reese; sister-in-laws, Anna Reese, Billie Sue Reese and Smitty Reese; brother-in-laws, Knute Rockney, Orrin and Bud Finch; his nephew, Knute Rockney, Jr.; and his good friends, Johnny and Fretta Mae Luchetta.
He is survived by his wife, Jean Marie Reese; his brothers and their spouses; Don Reese, Jack Reese (Geneva) and Keith Reese (Regina); his children and their spouses, Steve Reese (Genja), Anne Johnson (Steve) and Carolyn Johnson (Tom); his grandchildren, their spouses and great-grandchildren, Scott Reese, Wendy Dinetz (Greg and Max), Christi Purnell (Ben, Kallie and Cael), Andrew Johnson, James “Ryan” Johnson, Stephanie Waters (Brent), Seth Johnson, James “Jim” Johnson (Courtney, Jade, Rosa and Jett) and Sandra Johnson. Bill is also survived by many nieces, nephews and their offspring.
Bill believed in working hard, taking care of his family and finances, helping other without recognition and finding humor in most situations. A celebration of life will be held this summer at Colter Bay, Jackson Lake. If you join us, bring your fishing pole.
Bill’s family would like to extend their sincere appreciation to the staff of Life Care Center of Cheyenne and the Cheyenne VA Medical Center for their dedication and compassion in caring for Bill and sharing the family’s journey.