Saturday, December 9, 2023

John Russell Reid, 88, of Williamsburg

John Russell Reid, devoted and beloved father, grandfather, and great grandfather, passed away peacefully in the morning hours of March 15, 2023, at the age of 88.

John, or “Pop” as he was affectionately known, was born in 1934 in Affinity, West Virginia and raised in Beckley, West Virginia. He graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1952 and went on to serve in the United States Navy from 1953 to 1957. On June 11, 1954, Pop married Joyce A. Wills, who was also from West Virginia, and they remained together for 68 years, until he passed.

In 1957, Pop enlisted in the Air Force Reserves and continued to serve until 1961. In 1959, Pop and Joyce moved to Northern Virginia, where they resided in Arlington, Vienna, and Fairfax. Pop began a long and meaningful job with Mazo-Lerch Company that lasted until he retired in the mid 1990s. Pop and Joyce then moved to Williamsburg, Virginia where he became a long-time member of the “ROMEOS”—Retired Old Men Eating Out.

Pop is survived by his wife, Joyce, and his two children Cynthia Stone and her husband Howard, and David Reid. He is also survived by three grandchildren and their spouses: Ashleigh Harty and her husband Will; Heather Tomaselli and her husband Mike; and Joshua Reid and his wife Georgia; as well as an honorary grandchild, Kyle Stone. Pop was blessed with four great grandchildren: Archer Tomaselli, Cooper Tomaselli, Everett Harty, and Averie Harty, and he had one honorary great grandchild, Riley Harty. He was predeceased by his parents, John E. Reid and Wanda Reid, his sister, Betty Patton, and one grandson, Brody Reid.

Pop had a big personality and a penchant for fun. During his Navy service, he was stationed on USS Yellowstone and USS Markab at the US Naval Station in Newport, RI, where he discovered the ideal job duty—searching for movies on shore and transporting them to the ship for his crewmates to enjoy. He also attempted to teach a monkey how to ride a motorcycle. He and the monkey survived the unsuccessful plan and unceremoniously parted ways.

He loved sports and coached his son’s baseball, basketball, and football teams. He never missed his daughter’s and granddaughters’ softball games, dance performances, and recitals and took great pride in each of his kids, grandkids, and great grandkids. John was a diehard Washington Redskins and West Virginia Mountaineers fan and also enjoyed watching and hearing every detail of his son’s and grandson’s dirt track races.

Pop left an indelible mark on the hearts of so many people, and though we are so sad to see him move on to the next chapter, we know that he is touching and blessing souls in heaven.

A visitation will be held on Monday March 20, 2023, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at Nelson Funeral Home, 3785 Strawberry Plains Rd., Williamsburg, VA 23188, with the funeral service to follow at 1 p.m. Interment with full Military Honors will follow at Williamsburg National Park located at 130 King William Dr, Williamsburg, Virginia.

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