James Virgil Reeder, 84, passed away on Thursday, November 3, 2022, at South Bend Memorial Hospital. He was born at home in Rolling Prairie, IN to the late Arlyne Hazel (Gerrich) Reeder and Raymond C. Reeder Sr. He married the love of his life, Jacqueline Winker, on April 10, 2002, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
He is survived by his wife, Jackie; daughter, Tammy (Edward) Zawada; daughter-in-law, Debra Gifford of La Porte; sister, Loretta (Ronald) Pressel of Walkerton; 3 granddaughters, Ryann Zawada of La Porte, Kelsie (Dominic Fimbianti) Zawada of Indianapolis and Amanda (Darryl) Stevens; 2 great-granddaughters, Ryley Zawada of La Porte and Isabella Stevens of Austin, Texas; as well as many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Raymond C. Reeder Jr.; and son, Robert Gifford.
Jim attended Rolling Prairie Elementary School, and after his mother relocated to La Porte, he finished his schooling there, graduating from La Porte High School in 1956. The following was written by Jim at the family's request about his military training and experiences:
"After I graduated from high school, I volunteered for 3 years service with the U.S. Army. I received 8 weeks training at Ft. Knox, KY and then to Ft. Gordon, GA for 8 weeks of military police training. After MP schooling, I was assigned to Ft. Leavenworth, KS as a military policeman. Being young and restless and wanting to go to Europe, I put in a transfer for overseas. Well, I got it! They sent me to the South Pacific Marshall Islands, Eniwetok to be exact. I spent one year and three days on the "rock" in support of the Eniwetok and on Hydrogen bomb from Bikini Atoll which was 300 miles away and so powerful that it could be seen in Honolulu 2000 miles away. During the summer of 1958, I was transferred back to the states and assigned to Ft. Dix, NJ as a Military Policeman. I finished my military career on September 11, 1959, and was honorably discharged from the Army with a rank of E-4 Specialist and returned to Indiana."
After Jim's discharge from the Army, he worked for Kaiser Aluminum for several years and then joined the La Porte City Police Department, serving for 22 years. During his time with the police, he was the Assistant Chief for 4 years, a detective sergeant for 8 years and retired as a Captain. After retiring from the police department, he launched into a 13 year career in banking. In 2001, and after his time in banking, Jim became the first full time Director of Code Enforcement here in La Porte and retired in 2005.
Jim liked sports, stating that he really was more of a basketball fan, enjoying high school and college basketball, namely Notre Dame. One of his favorite baseball teams was the White Sox.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, November 9, 2022, at Cutler Funeral Home and Cremation Center with Pastor JoEllyn Chadwick officiating. Burial will follow at Pine Lake Cemetery.
A time of visitation will be held from 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 8, 2022, at Cutler Funeral Home and Cremation Center and from 9:00 a.m. until the time of the service on Wednesday, November 9, 2022 at the funeral home.
Memorial donations may be made to the Salvation Army of La Porte, 3240 Monroe Street, La Porte, IN 46350.
Condolences may be shared with the family on www.cutlercares.com.