Cover photo for John R. Reel's Obituary
John R. Reel Profile Photo
1934 John 2023

John R. Reel

July 26, 1934 — August 14, 2023

John R. Reel – July 26, 1934 – August 14, 2023

Born in Sullivan County, John’s Father, Albert Reel and Mother, Doris Skinner Luellyn predeceased him.  John is survived by his Wife, Carolyn Moss Reel.  They celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on July 19, 2023, and spent John’s 89th birthday together on July 26, 2023.  John is also survived by his Sister Carol Crawley of Sullivan Indiana; Daughter, Cynthia Fancher (Larry); Son, J. Randall Reel and Granddaughter, Taylor J-Reel Miller (Jake).  John loved to say “Cindy, you are my favorite daughter and Randy, you are my favorite son and Taylor, you are my favorite granddaughter.”  John served four years in the United States Navy on the USS Bon Homme Richard naval carrier, where he began learning the skills for his career.  He was hired by the FAA and worked as an Air Traffic Controller and Supervisor at the Indianapolis International Airport Control Tower for 38 years.  John received recognition from the Federal Aviation Administration in Washington DC for aiding a young lost pilot in recovering her plane from its tailspin and land safely.  John served the Town of Plainfield on several boards.  He especially enjoyed his  years as the Police Commissioner and was proud of the Police Department and their officers.  John was also a Charter member of the Plainfield Elks Club.  John started his Optimist involvement as a member of the local Plainfield Optimist Club and was involved in their many projects.  He was a coach for youth baseball and his ball players always called him Mr. Reel when they introduced John to their sons and grandsons.   John was a Governor of the Indiana Optimist District and was later elected to the President of Optimist International in 1992-1993, during which he and his Wife, Carolyn, traveled the United States, the Providences of Canada, Japan, Hungary, Germany, and Jamaica. John was happiest while working with his local Plainfield Optimist Club and he introduced the idea for a baseball and soccer complex for special needs children.  John was delighted to see the “Miracle Field” come to life and have his name placed there.  In his last active years as an Optimist member, John was so happy to witness the completion of the Al & Jan Barker Athletic Sports Complex where all of the Plainfield Optimist sports programs are played.  In his later years, John helped organize and chair the International Optimist Jr. Golf Tournament in Florida, where young men and women come from all over the world to play in the international tournament.  John received awards   from many organizations and was honored to be presented with the Sagamore of the Wabash award.  There are so many members of our extended family but John had an “Almost Family” too.  Don & Rhonda Jobst and Dave & Rachael John have celebrated holidays and birthdays with us for forty years.  We can’t forget Deb Reel, who is our Granddaughter’s Mother and is always with us.  John passed peacefully with family by his side.  We also want to remember the people who work at Countryside Meadows in Avon who have been the most caring and compassionate people caring for John in his last few months of life.  “Thank You” to every one of them will never be enough.  Joint services will be held for John and Carolyn at a future date.

Arrangements by Hampton-Gentry Funeral Home, Plainfield.



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