Ernest Lloyd Reece, Jr. (Ernie) of The Villages, FL, passed away on February 25, 2023, after a year and a half battle with leukemia. He would have celebrated his 73rd birthday the next day. Ernie was born on February 26, 1950 in Jasper, GA, to the late Ernest Lloyd Reece, Sr and Ruby Vee Garrett Reece of Ellijay, GA.
Ernie grew up in Ellijay, GA and graduated from Gilmer High School. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical Education and a Masters of Education degree from Georgia Southwestern College. He went on to receive his Education Specialist Degree in Administration from Valdosta State College. While Ernie started his education career as a PE Teacher and Coach, he spent the majority of his time as an Elementary School Administrator in Lee County, GA.
Ernie was always a great story and joke teller who loved to laugh. As a young man, he was an avid fisherman. Many weekends were spent and many special memories were made with his daughters through the years while camping and fishing at Lake George in Eufala, AL. His daughters, Susan and Katy, were his pride and joy and he never missed an opportunity to support them in whatever they did.
Ernie was a diehard GA Bulldog fan. Rarely would you see him in public without one of his many Dawg hats. Many conversations were prompted by those hats. They usually started with “Go Dawgs!”
After moving to The Villages with his wife Joan in 2011, golf became Ernie’s passion. One of his golf highlights was his Hole in One on the 4th hole at the Bogart Golf Course. He was President of the State of Georgia club in The Villages for 2 years. Even in The Villages, fresh vegetables and beautiful flowers were always abundant in his small but prolific garden. Family was always important to Ernie. He fully embraced his blended and extended family and never missed an opportunity to brag about his 13 grandchildren and 4 great grands. Ernie will be deeply missed.
Ernie is survived by his wife of 23 years, Joan Dixon Reece; daughter Susan Reece Tambrini (Seth) of St. John, IN , their children Reece, Harper, and Holland; daughter Katy Reece Baumgartel, (Jeremy) of Leesburg , GA, their children Kendyl, Rebekah, and Briley; bonus son John Bradford Randall (Mary) of Hernando, MS, their children DeMarcus, Kellie, Elysia, Caydence, Ava, Caleb, and Sophie; and sister, Cathy Jo Reece , nephew Wesley Ryan Holtzclaw (Phaedra), their son Brannan and nephew Brett Andrew Holtzclaw, all of North Augusta, SC.
A Celebration of life service will be held at the Dignity Memorial Life Celebration Center located at 7134 Powell Rd, Wildwood FL 34785, on March 24, 2023 at 3:00 pm.
A second celebration of life, an informal picnic, will be held at Pavilion #3 at Lakepoint State Park in Eufala, AL on Saturday, April 22, from 1:00-4:00pm CDST (2:00-5:00 pm EDST).
A final gathering of family and friends will be held in Ellijay, GA, in May. The time and place will be forthcoming.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to the Moffitt Cancer Center Foundation to support leukemia research. Donations can be made by mailing a check to Moffitt Cancer Center Foundation, MBC-FOU, 12902 Magnolia Drive, Tampa, FL 33612 or by calling 1-800-456-3434 ext. 1403.
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