Harold Bruce Reece, 87, of Dawsonville, GA, died July 12, 2018 after an extended illness, peacefully, at his home at North Georgia Assisted Living Center.
Harold was born in Dawson County on, January 4, 1931 to the late Charlie and Vera Reece; he was the 2nd of four boys. Harold lived his entire life in Dawson County and was married to the late Jeannette Bruce. Harold was a lifelong member of Bethel Baptist Church where he accepted Christ and was baptized on the forth Sunday of August 1943.
A simple man with a 5th grade education, who had always worked for someone else, decided in the mid 1980’s to venture out on his own and opened Reece Tire Service. He specialized in basic auto maintenance and delivered old fashioned local customer service. Prior to owning his own business, Harold worked almost 4 decades for his longtime friend, Gene Gilleland, at Gilleland Gulf Station where Harold built a strong personal reputation of providing down home friendly customer service.
Harold was known for his keen sense of humor, his quick wittiness and fast come backs. Harold could share insightful local stories passed down by his friends and family as well as those stories that he stumble upon himself over years of community service. Having never met a stranger, Harold could meet a person for the first time and assign them a “nick-name” that not only summed up their personality but would actually stick with them for a lifetime.
Humor aside, Harold will be truly remembered for his willingness to extend a helping hand to those in times of need. As well as his desire to make sure local neighbors could safely get back and forth to their work and medical appointments by assisting them with basic auto repairs often at little or no cost to them during difficult times. He believed in giving people a hand up.
Harold also served his community various ways. His greatest was serving as the first volunteer fire chief of Dawsonville back in the late 1950’s – 1960’s. During the devastating tornado of 1974 that tore through the west side of Dawson County, Harold kept the Gulf Station open all night to provide gas and service to emergency vehicles and rescue units that were brought in from surrounding counties. Harold was recognized for his years of community service by the Dawson County Emergency Services when they presented him with their “Lifetime Achievement Award” in 2011.
Having grown up on a family farm in the 1930’s, Harold always thought he should have a few hogs around to grow and sell to friends looking for home grown meat. In his down time, he enjoyed vacationing in Myrtle Beach, SC where he would walk on the hot sandy beach for miles.
Harold is preceded in death by his wife, Jeannette Bruce Reece; his parents, Charlie and Vera Reece; brothers, James Reece, Charles Reece, and Gerald Reece; father in law and mother in law, Leonard and Lille Bruce; sister in law, Dessie Lou Bruce Wallis; brother-in-law, Cleve Bruce; niece and nephews, Karen Heard, Donald James Reece, and Ricky Wallis.
Harold is survived by his daughter, son and their spouses who he loved like his own children; Diane and James Satterfield of Dawsonville, and Stacey and Mandy Reece of Gainesville; his two grandchildren who he loved and cherished greatly, Andrew Reece and Morgan Reece both of Gainesville; sister-in-laws who he considered them as sisters, Opal Fowler Reece of Alpharetta and Estelle Chastain Reece of Gillsville; nieces and nephews, Charlotte Reece, Sam Reece, Fred Reece, Dwayne Reece, and Randy Wallis and Kim Williams; former daughter-in-law, Lydia Oglesby Hayne; aunt, Arlene Swafford; numerous cousins and many many friends.
Funeral Services will be held on Monday, July 16, 2018 at 2:00pm at Bethel Baptist Church in Dawson Co. Rev Jason Hamby, Rev Stephen Davis, and Rev Corey Gilleland will officiate. Interment will follow in Dawsonville Memorial Gardens.
Family will receive friends on Sunday, July 15, 2018 from 2:00pm to 8:00pm and Monday, July 16, 2018 from 10:00am until 12:00pm at Bearden Funeral Home of Dawsonville.
The family would like to extend on Harold’s behalf a very special thank you to the staff of North Georgia Assisted Living Center and the staff of Kindred Hospice for their compassion and guidance during this time.
Flowers are cherished or gifts may be made to the Bethel Baptist Church Youth Program. Gifts may be mailed to: Bethel Baptist Church, C/O Clayton Vaughters, 3165 Hwy 136, Dawsonville, GA 30534.
Bearden Funeral Home, Dawsonville, GA.