Donald "Don" Reynolds

Posted 1/21/20

Donald “Don” Reynolds, 81, passed away peacefully while surrounded by his loved ones on January 15, 2020.

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Donald "Don" Reynolds

Posted

Donald “Don” Reynolds, 81, passed away peacefully while surrounded by his loved ones on January 15, 2020.

A celebration of Don’s life was held on Monday, January 20, 2020 at Elwood Baptist Church in Elwood, Texas at 12 noon. Burial followed at Allphin Cemetery in Madisonville, Texas.

Don was born on July 29, 1938 to O.B. and Ethel Mae Reynolds at their home in Madison County, Texas. At 7 years old, he started working in his father’s dairy barn milking cows at 4 am and 4 pm each day. This instilled a deep work ethic in Don, which he followed throughout his life.

Don’s school years started at Elwood School, a one room school in Elwood, Texas. He would later attend school in Madisonville, Texas, before moving and graduating high school from Sam Houston High School in Houston, Texas.

In 1956 after graduating high school, Don enlisted in the Navy. He served on the aircraft carrier USS Wasp, waving in pilots and working with radar and communications systems. He later worked in logistics and supply transfers. After active service, Don served an additional 2 years in the Naval Reserve. Through his military service, Don traveled to many interesting places in the world, including Lebanon, Morocco, Greece, London, Italy, France, Ireland, Panama and the Arctic Circle, as well as serving stateside in Virginia, California and Louisiana. He was awarded the Middle East Service Ribbon and received an Honorable Discharge.

After the military, Don attended Sam Houston State College, where he attained a BBA in Business Administration. He would later also earn a teaching certificate, and a Master’s Degree, which would be the base of his long career in Public Education.

At Sam Houston, he also met the love of his life, Janice Janette Holliday, with whom he would enjoy the rest of his life, celebrating 57 years of marriage and raising 3 children.

Don’s career in public education began with driving a school bus and teaching in the classroom. He would soon be hired as an assistant principal, which lead to later service as a principal, and eventually as superintendent of schools for several Texas school districts, including Madisonville, Texas. He also served in the 1980s on the Select Committee on Public Education, Chaired by Ross Perot.

The other career Don enjoyed was ranching. He owned cattle almost his entire life, and went from weekend to full-time ranching once he retired from education. He loved his home and ranch built next to his parent’s home in Elwood, Texas.

In addition to his strong work ethic, Don was devoted to and received joy from his faith in God and from his love for his family. He also enjoyed keeping up with his friends, attending family reunions, and attending his Men’s Sunday School class at Elwood Baptist Church. He was a Master Mason with the Grand Lodge of Texas.

Don had a “glass half full” attitude, a great sense of humor, loved to tell stories about his life experiences, and loved to listen to his friends tell about what was happening in their lives. He especially enjoyed his many cousins and extended family and stayed close with them his entire life.

Don watched the news every day, watched 60 Minutes every Sunday, and kept up with current events. He loved our country and always voted. He considered each candidate on their own merits. He was willing to respect and listen to those of different backgrounds or who held different opinions. He also enjoyed watching sports, car races, rodeos, courtroom dramas and shows about crimes and cops.

Don was beloved by so many and will be sorely missed.

Don was preceded in death by his parents, O.B. and Ethel Mae Reynolds, his brother, John J. Reynolds, his sister, Frances Reynolds, and his nephew, Russell Bryant Reynolds.

Don is survived by his beloved wife, Janice Janette Reynolds, and by their children and their wonderful spouses, Troy Dean Reynolds and Lilliana Rivera Reynolds of Spring, Texas, Stacey Carol Hover and Jim Hover of San Diego, California, and Jantha Reynolds Houston and Samuel Ainsworth Houston of Houston, Texas. Don is also survived by 5 grandchildren who adored him and in whom he had great pride: Shane Antonio Reynolds (21), Donald Gray Houston (20), Nolan Ryan Hover (19), Cecilia Marisa Reynolds (19) and Audrey Grace Houston (18). Don is further survived by his nieces, Robin Wakefield of Centerville, Texas and Regina Possiot of Cypress, Texas.

Pallbearers: G.G. Reynolds, Dale Bophannon, Troy Reynolds, Samuel Houston, Shane Reynolds, Donnie Houston

Honorary Pallbearers: Jim Harrell, Byron Hammers, Reed Reynolds

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Midway Volunteer Fire Department at P.O. Box 555, Midway Texas 75852, or to the benevolence of your choice.

Arrangements were under the direction of Madisonville Funeral Home in Madisonville, Texas.

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