Franklin L. Reed

January 16, 1945 ‒ February 12, 2018

Caledonia, Ohio
Formerly of Marion, Ohio

Franklin L. “Frank” Reed, age 73, of Caledonia, was released from his earthly chains on Monday, February 12, 2018, surrounded by his loving family at his daughter’s home in Marengo, following a 40 year battle with rheumatoid arthritis.

On January 16, 1945, Frank was born in Galion, Ohio, the youngest of four sons of the late Forest “Curly” Edward and Mary Adella (Lohr) Reed.  He attended Martel Schools and graduated from Caledonia High School in their last graduating class in 1962.  Throughout his life he remained close with his classmates, enjoying their monthly lunches at Bob Evans.

Shortly following graduation, a young lady carrying popcorn at a River Valley basketball game caught Frank’s eye, Judith Bowman.  Figuring out who she was, Frank got up the courage to call her at home and their relationship blossomed from there.  They were married on January 21, 1966, in Iberia, Ohio.  They were by each other’s side for 52 years of marriage, and they lovingly raised one daughter, Kristi.  They were blessed with two wonderful additions to their family, first being his son-in-law, Matthew Raile, whom he loved like a son.  Secondly, was their grandson, Reed Johnathan Raile, who was the light of his life.  Reed and “Grandpa Frank” spent a lot of time driving around on Grandpa’s motorized wheelchair, talking and laughing the entire time.

After working at both Tecumseh and Fulfillment, Frank worked with the Marion County Auditor, Bruce Litzenberg for twelve years.  Then, when Mary Ellen Withrow was elected State Treasurer in 1983, she hired Frank to come to work for her at the State Office Tower in Columbus as her Deputy Treasurer for 8 years.  Frank was Mary Ellen’s right hand, helping with anything she needed.  They often traveled together to handle the countless responsibilities of the job.  Eventually his rheumatoid arthritis took it’s toll on Frank, and he was no longer able to endure driving back and forth from Columbus every day.  He was proud of his work, and retired in 1991.

Frank was an avid NHRA drag racing fan.  As a young man, he started helping his childhood friend, Jay Rambo, with a dragster he built.  They eventually teamed up with Joe Romeo, traveling all over with their Rambo Romeo and Reed dragster.  He was known as “Fearless Frank” on the track, and he was a great mechanic for their team.  Later, as age caught up to them, they retired from racing, but that didn’t keep Frank away from the track.  He started working for Bill Guthery at the Marion County International Raceway in LaRue, where he used his deep and distinctive voice as the announcer for the weekly drag races.  Frank loved meeting and talking with many of the top racers, some who are still racing today.  He also loved to target shoot with bows and pistols, and was so proud when he could “bring home the bacon” from one of the local turkey shoots.

40 years ago, when Frank was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, he took up wood carving to keep his fingers nimble.  He created many amazing and intricate wood carvings.  Later, he joined the Whetstone Woodcarvers Club, where he became a lifetime member.  Frank enjoyed sitting at Pioneer Green during the Marion County Fair showing off his carvings and talking with many fellow carvers and fair goers.

Over the years, Frank was involved with the Marion Evening Lions Club, with the Marion Moose Lodge 889, Marion Ohio FOP, Marion Ham Radio Club, and the Ridgedale Booster Club.

Having a huge heart for animals, Frank enjoyed moving to a farm in Caledonia in 1999, where he raised goats and sheep, and even had a donkey.  He and Judy also enjoyed raising dogs, having many Great Pyrenees dogs over the years.  They were great companions for Frank, always laying their heads on his lap in his golf cart.

Frank was very strong willed, and despite all the pain he endured throughout his life, he always had a positive attitude.  He made the best of every situation, never feeling sorry for himself.  He handled everything with grace and dignity.

To say Frank was ornery would be quite the understatement.  He loved teasing you, and had a nickname for everyone.  He also had a dry and witty sense of humor, delivering the best jokes and punch lines when you least expected it.

Frank will be dearly missed by his wife, Judy Reed; daughter and son-in-law, Kristi and Matthew Raile; a grandson, Reed Johnathan Raile; a brother, Edward (Ann) Reed of Waco, TX; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Including his parents, Frank was preceded in death by two brothers: Ronald “Ronnie” and Stanley Reed.

His family will greet friends from 4 – 7 p.m. on Thursday, February 15, at the Snyder Funeral Homes, DENZER Chapel, 360 E. Center St., Marion.  Services honoring his life will also be held there at 11 a.m. on Friday.  Burial will follow in Caledonia Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Arthritis Foundation,

On behalf of Frank’s family, they would like to extend a heartfelt “thank you” to the wonderful staff at the Marion General Hospital in their ICU and step down unit for the tender care of Frank.  They will never forget your kindness.

Snyder Funeral Homes of Marion are honored to serve Frank’s family and your condolences may be shared with them via

  • Judy and family, so sorry for your loss. Susie had told me how sick Frank had been. May you find comfort in your memories. My sincere sympathy and prayers for you and the family.

  • I am so sorry for you, Judy and Kristi. Such a very nice man. I know he will be missed by many. Kathy and Mike Schertzer

  • Judy and family,
    Frank was a good guy and we will miss his sense of humor and his bright mind. Most of all we will miss his courage and strength that he showed for such a big part of his life. He showed us all that the will to keep going, in the face of such adversity that his arthritis presented to him, was a gift we will all hope we can emulate when we get in that position.
    May God bless you all and give you the strength to carry on in his absence.

  • I first met Frank at Fullfillment then again a few years later we met again through our mutual friend Cathy Collier. We had some good times st lots of gatherings. Will remember your smile and your laughter

  • Judy and family, our deepest sympathy and prayers over your loss. Frank was an inspiration to all of us with his positive attitude no matter what he was suffering with and his obvious love of his family. He was a special person and we will miss him.

  • Kristi,
    I am so sorry to hear of the passing of your father. It is so hard to loose a loved one. I had met your father a couple times and he was very nice. Now he will be walking again and watching over his beloved grandson and family.
    With our deepests sympathy,
    Mary and Bob

  • I worked with Frank in the Auditor’ Office. He was such a kind and giving man. A wonderful gentleman to work with every day. Prayers to the family. Liz and David Litzenberg

  • Matt and Kristi,
    I am so sorry to hear about your father passing. I know that there are no words that will take your pain away but I know that prayers will help you get thru your grief. My prayers go out to you and your family.
    Sonja Blackburn

  • Judy and Kristi, I am so sorry to learn of Frank’s death. So much included in his obituary, I remember from you and I working together Judy. My deepest sympathy to each of you for your loss. Saying good bye is never easy.

    Sherry Shelton

  • So very sad to hear of the passing of Frank. I had the pleasure of working with Frank in Columbus at the office of State Treasurer Mary Ellen Withrow. Frank was my boss and I really enjoyed his kindness, strength and great sense of humor. He was one of a kind and will be greatly missed by many. Deepest sympathy and prayers to the family.

    Jenny Morse

  • What an amazing and well written obituary for Uncle Frank. His sense of humor I do remember from my younger years, amazing smile, and kind heart! Always caring and interested in others and never showing any pain. He was the strongest man I have ever known. May you Rest In Peace Uncle Frank and continue to warm the hearts of those who love you dearly. My condolences to Aunt Judy, Kristi, Matt, and Reed. Love, Brenda

  • What a fascinating, heart warming, interesting story about Frank! I am so sorry for your loss Judy, Kristi, Matthew and Reed. As one of the nurses caring for Frank, I can attest to his dry sense of humor. It was an honor to work with him and to know such a great supportive family. My sympathies to you as you work through this rough time.

  • I don’t suppose I saw Frank again after I graduated in 1961, but every once in a while I’ll get to laughing when I remember him and Jay Rambo working in driving mrs longacre crazy in business law class. I believe my mom and frank’s dad were cousins. Frank was an unforgettable wit and just a good guy. Sorry to be late with the condolences.

    Curt Whiteamire