John Alvis Reece, born Jan. 29, 1943, passed away peacefully on Saturday, Sep. 4, 2021 with family by his side. He was born in Vanzant, where he attended school in a one-room schoolhouse, graduated from Mountain Grove High School and then went on to attend college at both Southwest Baptist University and Oklahoma Baptist University, where he received degrees in music. He then taught music at several schools before embarking on his ultimate long, adventurous career with the Civil Service, directing morale, welfare, and recreation support programs for the Army and Air Force all over the world. He lived and served in Japan, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Greenland and all over the U.S. before retiring, but having developed a serious case of wanderlust, he continued to travel all over the world. In addition to a deep curiosity to constantly learn about new places and things, he had a never-ending appetite to learn about people and made fast friends wherever he would go. His magnetic personality certainly contributed, but also his genuine interest in hearing about others’ lives and stories. He had an empathy and caring for people that was undeniable and true. He could tell stories like no other, and never shied from being outspoken about causes for which he was passionate. Equality, diversity, and peace were tenets he held dear and he sought out opportunities to stand with others in support.
He was preceded in death by his dad and mom, William Alvis and Florence Sue (Roper) Reece. He is survived by his brother, Bill Reece (Kathy); sister, Anne Reynolds (David Belt); nieces and nephew, Stephanie Haase (Darrell), Jill Kollmann (Mark), Steve Reece (Juliebeth) and Jan Baker (Mark); along with several great and great-great nieces and nephews. He will be greatly missed. As he expressly wished, no formal services are planned, but we sincerely hope you will all find special ways to remember him. Raise a glass, laugh, sing around the piano, enjoy a spectacular meal, all things he loved. Donations in his name may be made to The Glo Center (https://www.glocenter.org/donate) or to the Springfield Regional Arts Council (https://www.springfieldarts.org/).