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David and Joyce Reese


September 14, 1929  –  October 9, 2006

David D. Reese was born in Leesville, Louisiana.  He attended public schools in DeQueen, Arkansas and graduated from high school in 1947.  He was proud of being an Eagle Scout. His first job was with the DeQueen Bee Newspaper. David attended the University of Oklahoma, majoring in journalism. He answered the call to the ministry and graduated from Phillips Seminary, Enid, Oklahoma in 1955.  Rev. Reese served disciples of Christ churches in central Oklahoma for nearly ten years before accepting a position as a campus minister at Purdue university in West Lafayette, Indiana. There he counseled young adults, rallied for peace in Viet Nam, participated in the civil rights movement and generally strengthened his conviction that the church’s role in history is to put the Word of Jesus Christ into action and to be an agent for social justice in the world.



In 1971 Rev. Reese and his family joined the Ecumenical Institute (now the Institute of Cultural Affairs) and moved to the inner city of Cleveland, Ohio where they lived, worshipped and worked in community with several other families.  Rev. Reese and his wife, Joyce Reese, lived and worked as part of the ICA in many other cities including Denver, San Jose, Chicago, Orlando, Fukuoka and Tokyo.  In the mid-nineties Rev. Reese and his wife retired from the ICA and moved to Chickasha to live near his mother0in-law, Lottie Slusher.  David and Joyce had a special group of friend with whom they met on a yearly basis for spiritual renewal. Rev. Reese received loving care for his family supported by hospice services for the last six months of his life.  Survivors include his sister Dixie Bryan and Mimmie Hutchinson; children Virginia Savage, John David Reese, Shelley Annette Beard and Elizabeth Ann Carr; grandchildren Cristina Cathey, Kasey Carr, Grace Beard, Teri Carr, Jonathan Carr, David Beard and Joy Beard; great grandchildren Megan and Erick Pankhurst.



I was saddened to hear about the death of my good friend and spirit colleague, David Reese. I had been in contact with David several times during the past year, mostly by phone and E-mail. On one occasion I drove down and spent several hours with him in Chickasha. He was very aware that he was gravely ill and was sharing his treasured library of books with friends at the time. I took one home with me.



David was a Disciples minister and he and his wife Joyce were members of EI for 20+ years. David and I audited a course at Phillips Theological Seminary in Tulsa a few years back. He would drive up from Chickisha (close to 3 hours) and I over from Bartlesville. The course was an “Introduction to Christian Theology”  taught by Joe Bessler-Northcut. David and I had a grand time doing this together and I am sure we added “something” to the class. I’m not sure whether the seminary students always understood where we were coming from; but I think the professor thoroughly enjoyed our questions and participation. David and I shared an appreciation for learning and discussing theological/spirit issues and ideas.

I will miss this wonderful and friendly inquisitive human being and great person of the Spirit. He was a significant “blessing” to me and I know he “blessed” many of you on his journey through life.

          ~~  Roger Alexander


We shall miss this great one. I never had a close assignment with David; but when we were at councils or other gatherings, we enjoyed conversing. He always seemed to grasp the profound dimension of any situation. In recent years his contributions over the Internet have always helped see new dimensions of a situation. I shall miss him greatly, but will feed off memories.
~~  Charles Hahn


Dear Reese Children (Virginia were you with us in the Academy?), Your parents left a profound impression on us. As we join you in the celebration of David’s completed life we share the following:


Life ~anonymous~

As we grow up, we learn that even the one person

that wasn’t supposed to ever let you down probably will.

You will have your heart broken probably more than once

and it’s harder every time.

You’ll break hearts too,

so remember how it felt when yours was broken.

You’ll fight with your best friend.

You’ll blame a new love for things an old one did.

You’ll cry because time is passing too fast,

and you’ll eventually lose someone you love.

So take too many pictures, laugh too much,

and love like you’ve never been hurt

because every sixty seconds you spend upset

is a minute of happiness you’ll never get back.
Don’t be afraid that your life will end,
be afraid that it will never begin.

          ~~   Vinod and Kamala


I give thanks for David’s life and I extend my sympathy to Liz, Shelly, Virginia, and John. The Lanphears and the Reeses are so closely connected for me as I met them while at the Cleveland and Indianapolis houses in the early 1970s. David and family joined the Cleveland house while I was living there. We knocked heads and laughed together. I remember David talking about Harvey Cox’s “Feast of Fools” and in a way David embodied foolishness for Christ.

Over the years I watched as David grew in grace. In his later years he shared with me a deep concern for the health of Earth. He wrote poems and essays and always in everything sermons. I called David in his last period. He reflected on how he had just realized he was dying. I think it is a gift to have a conscious death, or should we say dying. These last moments must be especially precious to recollect, to acknowledge, to attend to, to be attended by, to be surrounded by love and to know suffering, loss and acceptance.

God be with Liz, Shelly, Virginia, and John. Thank God for Reverend David Reese who was a giant among us.
Love, Herman Greene












December 20, 1930 – December 2, 1998

When Joyce Joan Slusher was born on 20 December 1930, in Grady, Oklahoma, United States, her father, Lewis Howard Slusher, was 24 and her mother, Lottie Lou Penny, was 21. She lived in Chickasha, Grady, Oklahoma, United States in 1940. She died on 2 December 1998, in Grady, Oklahoma, United States, at the age of 67, and was buried in Rose Hill Cemetery, Chickasha Township, Grady, Oklahoma, United States.

Dear Reese Family,

Grandmothers, grandfathers
Thank you for our lives
Thank you for your wisdom

We sing to you
We dance for you
We send our voices
We thank you for this song

We walk a path of Beauty
We walk a path of Beauty
Come join us on this walk of beauty
Come walk with us in Beauty.

          Blessings, Jon Mark Elizondo



Dear Ones,
We have known Joyce and David since the early 60’s; we were bonded in a cadre from the mid 60’s onward and our children grew up together. We made two extensive trips in caravan (from Indiana to RI, Canada andmback, to Florida and back from Indiana) with our cadre and all of our
combined (9) children in the late 60’s. David introduced us to RS-I in ’65 and ’66. Our church membership in Federated Church gave us a basis for a connections with the local church, as a cadre.


Any of us who knew David, understood what “lively” passion looked like. Whether he was loving, angry, happy, sad, depressed or joyful … he was full of passion. He was a disciplined churchman who always held out hope for the church. We loved David dearly and continued to visit, phone and send emails as long as that was possible. I have been in touch by phone with Liz, Shelly, Virginia, and John (and David when he could talk on the phone), while they were caring for David at home. I talked with Liz a few days ago and realized that David was very actively dying at that time. I had planned to call and sing a song to him this morning, but discovered that I was too late. I will share the words with each of you and perhaps the vibrations will reach David as he continues his journey “home”. I remember being with Joyce as she was dying in 1998 – her last words were about going “home” and “entering into the light” . I would claim that promise for David, that he would experience the PEACE within.

The River is flowing, flowing and growing.
The River is flowing, down to the sea.
Mother, carry me, a child I will always be,
Mother, carry me, down to the sea.


To our dear friend, David – The Irish Blessing
May the road, rise with you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sunshine warm upon your face,
and the rain for gently on your fields.
Until we meet again,
May God hold you,
in the hollow of Her/His hand.
You are loved,
~~   Nancy and Fred Lanphear