Don Reece of Elkader passed away Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018, in his home with his loving family by his side at the age of 86.
Don was the son of Carl and Bertha (Bock) Reece of Cedar Rapids. Don was born in Iowa City on March 25, 1932. Don lived in Iowa City and graduated from Iowa City High School. After high school, Don joined the Air Force in March 1951, where he served as staff sergeant of preventive medicine during the Korean War. Don was honorably discharged. Don started college at the University of Iowa. Don met and married the love of his life, Mary Rae Dauber, in Iowa City. They were married on Aug. 24, 1955. That fall Don transferred to Iowa State Teachers College in Cedar Falls, where he graduated with a B.A. in teaching. Don began his teaching and coaching career in George, Iowa. Don accepted a teaching and coaching position in Iowa City in 1966. Don moved his family to Iowa City that summer. This began his teaching and coaching career that spanned four decades.
Don was an avid outdoorsman. He achieved his dream of owning his own hunting paradise outside Elkader, moving his family one last time. He farmed and was an industrial arts teacher and wrestling coach at Edgewood-Colesburg. Don had the honor of being voted Iowa Junior High Wrestling Coach of the Year in 1991. Don retired from teaching and coaching in 1995. During his teaching and coaching career, Don will be remembered by his gift of connection to people and building lifelong relationships.
Don enjoyed hunting, fishing and golf, but most of all, he enjoyed spending time with family and friends. He will be remembered for his love of life and his kindness and generosity for those he held close to him.
He is survived by his three daughters, Mary Ellen "Missy" (Dean) Leonard of Elkader, Donna Rae Reece of Newport, N.C., and Elkader and Barbara Ann (Jeff) Reinhardt of Strawberry Point; four grandchildren, Paul (Bridget) Ehrhardt of Guttenberg, Heidi Ann Dettman (Matt Berger) of Elkader, Kristie (Sam) Battin of Elkader and Jacob (Amy) Dettman of Elkader; 12 great-grandchildren, Ethan, Brady, Connor, Paxton, Carter, Bella, Hunter, Bailie, Izibele, Hunter, Jaydin, Paige and Teagan; and his sister, Ellen Reece Hynes and family of Ballwin, Mo.
A memorial tree planting will be held in the spring at the Don and Mary Rae Reece farm. Condolences and sympathy can be sent to the Reece Family at 27383 Galaxy Rd., Elkader, IA 52043. Leonard-Grau Funeral Home & Cremation Service is assisting the family. Online condolences may be left with www.graufuneralhomes.com.