Franklin L. Reed
January 16, 1945 ‒ February 12, 2018
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, www.arthritis.org.
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 www.SnyderFuneralHomes.com.