Cover photo for Delbert "Bill" R. Reed's Obituary
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1925 Delbert "Bill" 2019

Delbert "Bill" R. Reed

July 6, 1925 — September 12, 2019

Delbert R. (Bill) Reed Obituary
July 6, 1925 – September 12, 2019
(The 94 year old . . . extended “dash” version)

“I bruise easy, but I heal fast.”

May Delbert’s 94 year old story remind us life is not to be rushed, instead life is to be savored and  soaked up, while we are reminded to just “be” in each moment (both the good and the bad ones); because God is growing the strength of our soul through each and every one.


Delbert R. (Bill) Reed, 94 happily entered his heavenly home on September 12, 2019, surrounded by close family and his good friend Frank.  Delbert was born on July 6, 1925, near St. John, KS, to Ova and Albert Reed.  His early years were spent in that area, later moving to St. John.


At the age of 13, the lengthy illness and untimely death of his Father, brought a weight of responsibility onto him as the eldest son of six children.  Shortly after, a house fire also destroyed their family’s home.  Each adversity his family faced head on, with God, and a surviving perseverance.  Delbert learned early about hard work, a lesson that served him well in his adult life.  Traveling through life’s storms, along with God became so common-place to Delbert that he even coined the phrase, “I bruise easy, but I heal fast.”


Delbert joined the Army in 1945, serving one year and nine months.  He spent approximately one year in Okinawa where he earned the rank of Technical Sergeant T4 as First Cook overseeing a mess hall which served 200 men three times a day.  He received his honorable discharge in December 1946.  Dad would often reflect back on this time and all the good food he helped prepare for his fellow soldiers and P.O.W.’s which gained him to his life’s heaviest weight of 173 pounds. Shortly after his military duty he went to work as a mechanic and auto body repairman at the Ford garage in Hoisington, KS.


In 1948 Delbert married Joy Maddux, whom he met in St. John prior to his military service.  Their marriage spanned over 68 years until Joy’s death in December 2016.  Their vows were exchanged in First Methodist Church in Claflin, KS, and they established their home in Hoisington.  Their small amount of funds covered a one night stay at the Brookville Hotel in Abilene, KS, and a “shared meal of one hamburger with fries” which was a honeymoon treasure.  A treasure that became a life-long tradition as Delbert, Joy, and family shared many burgers, fries, and ice cream at their favorite burger restaurant Freddy’s.  Papa would even wear his own Freddy’s Steakburgers t-shirt as our family frequently celebrated life there.  Papa would smile as fellow customers would often mistake him for the restaurant owner, Freddy himself.  When Papa spoke of these hamburgers he would always say, “I haven’t had a bad one yet.”  When we again ate there just the other day Allie said,

“I think of Papa when we come here.”


While employed by the Ford garage a personal contact introduced him to the oil industry where he spent 50 years, first as a roustabout quickly advancing to production supervisor.  He worked for several companies in Kansas, Oklahoma and Colorado; among them were John Lindas, Petroleum Management, Osage Oil and Gas, Murfin Drilling Company, Patton Oil Company and he retired from Great Eastern Energy and Development in October 2000.  During his fifty years in the “oilpatch” he saw several booms and busts, but was never without a job, never missed a pay check, and never had to relocate; all remarkable feats during this span of time.


Delbert accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior in Hoisington Bible Church at 22 years of age.  After his marriage, he and his wife Joy joined Trinity Baptist Church where he was ordained as a Deacon on his 25th birthday.  He took this position seriously and served faithfully for over 50 years until his retirement and subsequent move to Wichita, KS, in 2000, transferring his membership to Cedar Pointe Baptist Church in Wichita.  Through the years as our family navigated additional trials and tribulations, Mom and Dad would support our family and friends with prayers and periods of fasting.  Oh yah’…the power of prayer.  The miracles we have witnessed at the hands of our heavenly Father have been too numerous to count.  The Lord himself has held our heads high above troubled waters and through many a dark, yet blessed, storm.


Delbert’s love of nature and gardening were enjoyed by him until the very end.  In April 2019 Delbert planted his last garden on this earth with the help of his kids, grandkids, and great grandkids.  His tomatoes, okra, and zinnias are still coming on strong today.  As Papa always said; “okra needs the heat to grow.”  As his health declined, God helped his family naturally water his garden with perfectly-timed rains this summer.  Eight days before his passing Papa put on his light blue jumpsuit and Mike and Karen drove him in his Ford “Living on the…EDGE” car out to their farm to his garden, for a visit and to watch the sunset over our corn field one last time.  Heaven has gained a master gardener who will continue gardening by following the annual Farmer’s Almanac planting schedule…….from now until forever.  I’ll go to the garden alone while the dew is still on the zinnias, and the voice I hear falling on my ear the son of God discloses.  And He walks with me and He talks with me and He tells me I am His own, and the ‘Joy’ we share, as we tarry there…….none other has ever known.


Two days before Dad’s departure, Mike and Karen had fallen asleep on the living room couch and recliner and were awaken by a loud continuous popping noise that sounded like it was coming from Dad’s apartment bedroom.  As we ran back to Dad’s room Mike asked “Dad, what’s going on in here?”  To which Delbert replied with a smile; “I’m popping fire crackers!”  As we all three laughed, we settled in on the reality of what we were actually hearing were old falling shingles being removed from the retirement center roof as they fell three stories and slapped the ground.  We were then all reminded of our many past 4th of July Independence Day celebrations at Uncle Ray and Aunt Patty’s farm as well as our own farm, complete with amazing fireworks displays.  We had so many fun times with family and friends (friends that are more like family than just friends).


Delbert came into this world as a strong, fighting 2 lb. 6 oz. baby boy on the day he was born in his family home.  He was so small he was kept in a shoe box near the warmth of the family’s wood burning stove in the winter of that year.  In comparison, on what would be his final night on this earth, Papa’s nine year old great granddaughter held us all up with her amazing presence and love during Papa’s equally strong exit from this earth.  Allie’s middle name “Grace” sums up her beautiful young soul.  Allie chose to comfort her Great Papa until the very end.  During some very difficult final struggles, as Allie helped comfort us and her Great Papa through the pain, Papa looked up at her and smiled and said “Well Hi Sugar.”  Amazing “Grace” how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.  How precious dear that “Grace” appeared the hour I first believed.  Allie “Grace” instinctively and bravely helped lead her precious Papa HOME.


STAND BY ME – Chapter 10
Dad’s favorite gospel hymns The Old Rugged Cross and Stand by Me fit his life perfectly.  As the storms of life are raging, stand by me.  As the world is tossing me like a ship out on the sea, thou who rulest wind and water, stand by me.  When I’m growing old and feeble, stand by me. We stood by Papa as he clung to the old rugged cross and he exchanged it this day for a crown.


Delbert sure enjoyed his meals with his “fellow Knights of the round table” at Georgetown Senior Living; including his friend Frank Doucette.  Delbert and Frank helped “hold each other up” after both of their wives went to Heaven in recent years.

Delbert was the first to experience a new tradition at Georgetown when he entered through their front doors in life; and was then the very first person to exit through those same front doors after his death.  Delbert’s small worn American flag gently covered him as our family was lead through a parted group of his friends and staff lining the walls as they honored and paid tribute to their good friend.  Our hearts overflowed, as his fellow service men and women snapped a respectful salute to him one last time and a beautiful prayer was shared.  Thank you dear Georgetown staff for honoring our Dad and our family with this farewell fit for a king.


Delbert was preceded in death by his wife Joy, parents, two sisters and two brothers.  He is survived by one sister Alberta Lane of Marlow, OK; his daughter Patricia Hadley and her husband Curtis of Grand Junction, CO; granddaughter Meredith Hadley-Thornhill (Zachary); great grandchildren Sophie and Stella of Fruita, CO.  Delbert is also survived by his son Mike Reed and wife Karen; granddaughter Crystal (Brenton Dube); great grandchildren Allison “Allie” and Kason; in addition to his grandson Jordan Reed, all of Wichita.


A Celebration of Life will be held on Tuesday, October 8, 2019, at 2:00 pm at Ascension Senior Living – Georgetown, 1655 S. Georgetown Wichita, KS  67218.  Family requests the wearing of your casual patriotic attire to honor Delbert’s service in the United States Army and his love for our country.  Delbert’s favorite dessert, pie and ice cream, will be enjoyed by all.  Papa always said he had “two favorite kinds of pie…….and cold pie.”  (Included will be one of Dad’s favorite pies of Georgetown the “she-lime pie” . . . you may know it as key lime pie).


A graveside service will be held the next day on Wednesday, October 9, 2019, at 11:00 am in Fairview Park Cemetery located one mile north of St. John, KS, on highway 281 on the east side of St. John, KS.  Pastor David Benavides of Harry Hynes Hospice will officiate both services.


MEMORIALS – Chapter 15
In lieu of flowers the family has requested memorials in Delbert Reed’s name to Ascension Senior Living – Georgetown (1655 S. Georgetown, Wichita, KS  67218) - or - Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice (313 S. Market St., Wichita, KS  67202).


Our family will be forever grateful for the “notice” God gave Dad and us all.  This “notice” allowed for the “gift of additional heartfelt priceless conversations and final plans and goodbyes.”

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.  “For now we will miss you, but we’ll someday meet up with you again for a Heavenly Hamburger and fries at HOME.”  Oh, what a happy day that will be.

So when you go to Heaven too someday, be sure to ask Delbert, “Well, how are you doing today?”  With Joy once again by his side I’m sure he’ll affectionately respond with:
“I’m doing good as far as I know . . . she hasn’t told me any different.”


During Dad’s final week here on earth he reminded us of another powerful story of faith…….

During one of Delbert’s jobs as a young man he lived approximately 12 miles from town.  When Delbert would go into town he would ride his black horse (he wasn’t able to recall her name). Delbert would sometimes then obtain a ride home from a friend.  So Delbert would let his horse loose and tell her “to go home.”  By the time Delbert would arrive home by car, his faithful horse would have made her way 12 miles back home to their barn.

What a beautiful example of how our own faith in God will lead us back HOME when our time comes to go.

“Well…sometimes a guy may wonder why things happen the way they happen, but if you just give it enough time the good Lord will kind of show you why; if you’ll just be patient.”

One thing we have learned for sure is the legacy of our family’s faith is everlasting.  We Believe.

Lord, continue to carry us and keep us all the rest of our days.

In Jesus name we pray, Amen.         


- - Written by:     Karen (Gracy) Reed & Mike Reed

    Joy (Maddux) Reed & Delbert Reed


2 Corinthians 4:8-9
“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”


Jeremiah 33:3
“Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”


John 3:16     -           (Delbert’s favorite bible verse.)
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.”

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Starts at 2:00 pm

Ascension Senior Living – Georgetown

1655 S Georgetown St, Wichita, KS 67218

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Graveside Service

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Starts at 11:00 am

Fairview Park Cemetery

, Saint John, KS 67576

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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