The Heavens became a little brighter May 14, 2013. Howard Kent Reed departed this world to his Heavenly Home. Kent was born in Vernon, Texas, April 20, 1931, to James Curtis Reed and Verma Rook Reed. He lived in Walters, Okla., Eunice, Hobbs, and Denver City, Texas.
After graduating from Denver City High School in 1949, Kent entered Eastern New Mexico University studying instrumental music education. He was drafted into the Army in 1952 and played tuba in the Army Band stationed in Stuttgart and Nuremberg, Germany. He returned to Eastern and completed his degree in 1956. While there, he participated in the Concert Choir, Barbershop Quartet, and Concert and Marching bands.
On March 29, 1956, he married the love of his life Paula Fern Cox. He taught band in Causey, Dora, Marshall Junior High in Clovis, and Fort Sumner. He and Paula moved to Roswell, where he taught at Yucca, Sierra, and Berrendo Middle, and numerous elementary schools. He retired in 1991.
Kent belonged to many organizations including New Mexico Educators Association, Kappa Kappa Psi (honorary band fraternity), National Education Association, Chaves County Retired Educators, Spring River Men’s Golf Association and Eastern New Mexico Senior Men’s Golf Association. He also played tuba in the Roswell Community Band. He was a charter member of the Secret Squirrels.
An active member of the First United Methodist Church, Kent loved singing in the Chancel Choir, traveling with them to New York City and performing in Carnegie Hall in 2001, as well as the Silver Chords, and playing in the Kaler Bells handbell choir. He also attended the Joyful Noise Sunday School class.
Kent spent many hours working away in his woodshop. Moving from a few saws and tools in his garage, to a full-blown woodworking Mecca in the backyard of the home he shared with Paula for the past 20 years, he lovingly made crafts for his wonderful wife to paint. They even sold a “few” over the years! Wooden crosses in so many First United Methodist members’ homes have his mark.
When Kent managed to get away from his shop, he could be found on the greens of Spring River Municipal Golf Course. He loved playing golf with his wife and all of his golfing buddies. He often traveled around Southeastern New Mexico for tournaments.
His dry sense of humor was enjoyed by all. He made people smile and he generously shared his love and talent of music with countless youth, many of whom are still in touch with “Mr. Reed.”
Ever present at any event he could be at, he was well known and loved by all of his grandchildren. Many did not even realize his name was Kent. Amanda, Chad and Joseph always introduced him endearingly as “Danny.” Every one of his grandchildren’s friends lovingly refer to him as Danny to this day.
Kent was preceded in death by his parents, Curtis and Verma Reed; sister Judy Roberts; and in-laws Denver and Molly Cox.
He is survived by Paula, his bride of 57 years; two loving daughters, Kenda Grimm and her husband Gene, of Dexter, and Julie Gaitens and her husband Tom, of Cary, N.C. Kent’s grandchildren held a very special place in his life, Amanda Hays, of Charleston, S.C., Chad Hays and his wife Kellie, of Rapid City, S.D., and Sir Joseph Gaitens, of Cary. Kent was very close to his brother James Rook (JR) Reed and his wife Lois Marie, of Abilene, Texas; and proud of his nephews, Randall Reed and his wife Stacy, of Lovington, Derral Reed and his wife Nancy, and niece Jenai Freng and her husband Jeff, all of Abilene. A host of relatives and friends will miss their dear Kent.
A memorial service will be held Friday, May 17, 2013, at 2 p.m., at First United Methodist Church.
In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to the First United Methodist Chancel Choir or the Cowbell Bell Scholarship Fund, 200 N. Pennsylvania Ave., Roswell, NM 88201, or any charity of your choice.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Ballard Funeral Home. An online registry can be accessed at ballardfuneral.com.