Donald “Donnie” Ray Reel, 74, of Parsons went to be with his lord and savior on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. He passed away in the Labette Health emergency room, after being resuscitated by emergency medical technicians.
Donnie was born on Sept. 19, 1946, in Oswego, with his twin sister, Debbie, to Wayne A. “Pops” Reel Sr. and Elna May (Moore) Reel. They were the fourth and fifth children born into the family of six children.
Raised in Parsons, he attended Washington Elementary School and West Junior High School and graduated in 1964 from Labette County Community High School in Altamont. The following year he attended Labette Community College.
He began work at the Kansas Army Ammunition Plant in November 1966. He joined the Kansas National Guard and was a sergeant E-5 with Detachment 1, Company B 3D Battalion 137th Infantry. He was honorably discharged as a reserve on Nov. 4, 1972. He attended basic training in Fort Ord, California, and returned to work at KAAP in July 1967. Donnie continued working at the plant until October 2009, retiring after 45 years of distinguished service.
Donnie married the love of his life, Vickey Lee Smith, on Oct. 20, 1967, at First Methodist Church of Parsons, and they recently observed their 53rd anniversary. They became the parents of two children, Darin Ray and Shawna Leigh, on the same date, Aug. 26, three years apart.
During junior and senior high he was a gifted athlete, excelling in baseball, basketball and track. As of today, he still holds the LCCHS record in javelin at 192.0 feet.
Donnie was a member of the Methodist faith. He was a member of Parsons Lodge No. 117, A.F. & A.M. and served as master in 1987. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, playing golf, playing cards, bowling and dancing. He loved watching football on television with his daughter on Sundays. He coached his daughter’s basketball team at Meadow View Grade School. He taught his son how to hunt and most of all how to be a man. Donnie was always available to lend a helping hand to anyone at anytime.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two sisters, Edith Mae Reel and Sherry Sue (Reed) Thomas; a brother, Wayne A. Reel Jr.; a daughter, Shawna Leigh (Reed) Paulie; and a brother-in-law, Rick Smith.
Surviving is his wife of 53 years, Vickey Lee (Smith) Reel; his son, Darin Ray Reel (Kris); a son-in-law, Jim Paulie; grandchildren, Chelsey (Reel) Hoskins (Randall), Jesica (McKinzie) Turner (Mitch), Jameson Paulie (fiancé Montana Swezey) Clorisa Paulie, Kyle Reel and Meagan (Genton) Westhoff (Ben); great-grandchildren, Olivia Hoskins, Peyton Hoskins, Gwendolyn Turner, Brooke Turner, Shawna Turner, Layla Marrone, Braxton Palmer, Easton Westhoff and Rowyn Westhoff; twin sister, Debbie (Reed) Naff (Donnie); a brother, Hollis Reel (Barb); a sister-in-law, Jeanie Reel; and many nieces and nephews.
Cremation has taken place. The service will be at 2 p.m. Friday at the Memorial Lawn Cemetery patio, with the Rev. Steve Crawford officiating and military honors given by the Kansas National Guard. Friends and family are welcome.
The family requests that memorials be given to either the Shriners Hospital or Assembly of God Church. They may be left at or sent to Carson-Wall Funeral Home, Box 942, Parsons, KS 67357.
Online messages may be left at www.wallfuneralservices.com.