Rev. Richard "Dick"'s Story
Dick died Aug. 23, 2017, at his home in Romney while in Hospice care. He had been ill since the beginning of June.
Born Aug. 30, 1931, in Sacramento, Calif., he was the son of the late Clarence Douglas Reece and Evelyn (Whitaker) Reece.
Dick's already full journey in ministry brought him and his family to Romney in 1978. He was the director of Peterkin Conference Center as well as the vicar of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church. As he quickly involved himself with agencies such as Eastern West Virginia Community Action, Head Start, and Telemon, he became known to many, even outside of the church, as Father Reece.
With the help of other pastors in the community, Dick formed C-Cap, an interdenominational volunteer organization that provided emergency assistance. In an attempt to begin a homeless shelter, Exodus House was born to assist the homeless and transients with food and lodging. Up until his health prevented him to do so, he also maintained a prison/jail ministry that began many years ago.
After retiring from the Episcopal Church, Dick was the assistant pastor at Metropolitan AME Church in Cumberland from 1996 to 2002. There he was instrumental in starting a mentoring program for teens and preteens in the community. He also served as an interim pastor at the Keyser Presbyterian Church in Keyser from 2003 to 2005.
In more recent years, a project that was near and dear to his heart came to fruition. He and Michael Heishman founded Hampshire County Pathways, a drop-in center for adults in recovery. Pathways eventually developed The Lighthouse, a transitional living facility for women.
Dick's heart and hands were always open to those in need. His favorite verse in the Bible was Micah 6:8: "He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God"? He did indeed try to walk this way with the Lord and encouraged others to do the same.
Preceding him in death were his parents, his former wife, Dorothy Elizabeth (Webber) Reece; and former wife, Myra Jo (Wiechers) Reece.
His wife Linda M. Reece, five sons and three stepchildren survive him, Richard D. Reece Jr. and Ellen of Princeton, W.Va., Steven L. Reece and Elizabeth of Mullens, W.Va., Gary A. Reece and Leesa of Austin, Texas, William P. Reece of Gastonia, N.C., Douglas H. Reece and Susan of Leesburg, Va., Robert E. Bollman and Tammy of Cross Junction, Va., Matthew J. Bollman and Mary Ann of Augusta, W.Va., Nancy H. Bollman of Cumberland. Also surviving are his brother, William Reece of Sacramento, Calif.; and his sister, Patt Adams of College Station, Texas; as well as 22 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
A service to celebrate life will be held at Shaffer Funeral Home in Romney on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017. Family visitation will be 10 to 11 a.m. The service will begin at 11 a.m. and will be officiated by Alan Morrison, Pastor, Christ Reigns Presbyterian Church, Winchester. A lunch will be served at the Bottling Works following the service.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to: Hospice of the Panhandle, 278 N. High St., Romney, WV 26757; or to Hampshire County Pathways, Inc., P.O. Box 299, Romney, WV 26757.
Please direct inquiries to Shaffer Funeral Home, 304-822-3511.
Published on August 26, 2017