James Elmer Reese, 73, U.S. Navy veteran who met his wife at Buckroe Beach

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James Elmer Reese
James Elmer Reese

James Elmer Reese, affectionately known as ‘Reese,’ passed away at his home in Yorktown peacefully on Saturday, March 19, 2016.

James was born in Pleasantville, N.J., on October 30, 1942, to his mother, the late Mary Agnes Shane; father, Ernest Reese; and stepfather, George Shane.

He was preceded in death by four siblings, his brothers, Tommy Reese and Gene Reese; sisters Deanna Hartmann and Linda Eggers; and sadly, his second grandson, Zane Wells; and sons-in-law, Matthew Dollar and Timothy Howell.

He served in the U.S. Navy on the USS Saratoga as well as the USS Enterprise. He retired from the Yorktown Naval Weapons Station.

He is survived by his sister, Susan Jane Baker; four loving daughters, Deanna Reese Salken, Angela Collins, Jamie Reese Howell and Darlene Joy Dollar. He was blessed and loved by all of his grandchildren, Dylan Gwaltney, Chas Gwaltney, Reese Salken, Izabel Salken, Zane Wells, Eli Knight, Victoria Howell, Olivia Howell, Sophia White, Jesse Dollar and Gianna Whitaker.

Our father loved his ‘Jersey’ family so very much. He cherished all his nieces and nephews and loved every moment he shared with all of you. He also loved his nephews, Tommy and Ernie Stekas. Our father never had a birth son, but he did have a son-in-law by the name of Charlie Gwaltney, whom he loved so very much, as if he was his own son. He also left behind beloved sons-in-law, Steve Wells, Neal Salken, Charlie Knight and Jon Collins.

Our father had a love for music and the water. He was an avid fisherman from the day he moved to Virginia, which he called home. It was on Buckroe Beach, while he was stationed there, that he met our beautiful mother, Joyce Ann Wilson; and our grandparents, Evelyn and Garland Wilson. Our father’s way of teaching us girls, was by throwing us overboard and using his theory of ‘sink or swim,’ which gave us our survival skills. He will be missed by many friends and all who had the joy of knowing our father. One could pull a bar seat up and be a welcomed friend. He loved his dog, ‘Sammy,’ as well. Thank you all for your prayers, love, and support during this difficult time.

We are planning a ‘celebration of life’ for our father at a later date.

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