Michael K. Reese
August 1, 1943 ~ March 19, 2014
Mike Reese, a resident of Wenatchee, WA for the past 35 years, passed away peacefully and unexpectedly during his sleep in the early morning hours Wednesday, March 19, 2014, at the age of 70. He was born in Provo, UT on August 1, 1943, to Roy and Afton Reese. Mike grew up in Portland, OR. He started work as a young boy on a cattle ranch, near Portland, tending to cows and working the hay harvest. Mike attended schools in Portland, graduating from Jefferson High School in 1961. A few months after graduation, in January of 1962, he joined the U.S. Air Force and served four years during the Vietnam era. He was stationed out of Larson Air Force Base in Moses Lake, WA as an aircraft maintenance mechanic and was honorably discharged in January 1966. He also served two years in reserve duty. Shortly after his term of service, Mike married his first wife, Raven, and they had one son, Ralph. The family settled in the Aloha, OR area, where he was a truck driver, delivering freight to the surrounding Portland area. He later moved to Ephrata, WA, divorced, and had the opportunity to buy into his former father-in-law’s fire protection service business. He then decided to operate his company from Wenatchee, where he owned and operated Central Washington Fire Protection Co. for 30 years. One year prior to retirement, he sold his business to a local company and had been retired for the last five years.
During his early years in Wenatchee, Mike was involved with the Apple Blossom Festival float crew and helped build and drove numerous floats in parades for several years. It was during one of the ABF’s casino night fundraising events that he met his sweetheart, Jennifer Manley, and they were married on September 11, 1982. Mike and Jennifer were blessed with one daughter, Michelle. They had been married for 31 years. Mike was a people person who loved to share a witty remark, good joke, and had a very sarcastic sense of humor. He had an extremely strong work ethic as an independent small business owner, and was always available to help out a friend with a project. He enjoyed disco dancing, family outings on his boat, fishing, liked to stay busy with home projects, and was an avid Nascar fan. During his retirement, he became a talented woodworker and built numerous handcrafted furniture items for his wife and daughter.
Mike was preceded in death by his father, Roy Reese; mother, Afton Dess; brother, Howard Reese; nephew, Danny Brewer; and brother-in-law, Robert Manley. He is survived by his wife, Jennifer Reese of Wenatchee; daughter, Michelle Reese of Tacoma, WA; mother and father-in-law, Charlotte and Harold Manley of Wenatchee, son and daughter-in-law, Ralph and Kolette Reese of Beaverton, OR; sister, Karla Brewer of Vancouver, WA; sister and brother-in-law, Sharan and Bill Hoffman of Portland; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Donations, in Mike’s memory, may be made to the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society. A private gathering of friends and family to celebrate Mike’s life will be held later this spring. Please express your thoughts and memories on the online guestbook at jonesjonesbetts.com. Arrangements are by Jones & Jones~Betts Funeral Home, Wenatchee.