Jack E. Rees, 77, died at his home December 31, 2020. He was born June 1, 1943 in Topeka, Kans.
Jack graduated from Perry High School in 1961, where he played football and basketball and was Homecoming Candidate his senior year. Jack fell in love with Marilyn J. Ross in high school, and they were married in 1962.
After graduating from Kansas State University in 1966 with a horticulture degree, Jack returned to help his father in the family orchard business (Rees Fruit Farm), where he had worked as a young man. In 1979, Jack made the difficult decision to leave the family business and grow in a new direction when he took a job managing Skinner Garden Store. Jack and Marilyn purchased half-interest in the business in 1990, and Jack operated the business until his retirement in 2009. After retirement, Jack stayed active in the business, serving on the Board of Directors and as a business and horticulture advisor to his son Cam, who took over management of Skinner’s.
After Marilyn’s death in 2009, Jack found a second chance at love when he married Effie M. Reynolds in 2011. In addition to loving wife and companion, Effie was Jack’s devoted caregiver, providing love, support, encouragement and physical care throughout many health issues.
Horticulture was Jack’s life work, but it was also his passion. He loved nature and spent much time tending his vegetable garden and yard. He also loved history — seeking knowledge everywhere from roadside historical plaques to museums and the History channel. He was a lifelong member of Grantville United Methodist Church, where he gave freely of his time and resources. He served on and chaired numerous church committees over the years. Jack was a long-time member of the board of trustees for Grantville Cemetery. He also belonged to the Masonic Lodge, receiving his 50-year pin in September of 2017 as a member of Perry Lodge No. 415.
Jack was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and friend. He was loved and respected by family, friends, employees and customers alike. He is survived by his wife Effie; children Curtis (Clare), Cameron (Kim) and Jennifer Day (David); siblings Richard, Jean Cassell and Rex; grandchildren Catelyn, Kendall, Allison, Cooper and Evan; and stepsons Scott, Stewart and Shawn Reynolds and their families. He was preceded in death by his wife Marilyn, his mother Ellen Lucile Rees and his father Norris.
Memorial service arrangements are pending. Check back here for information.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions in Jack’s name to Midland Care Topeka (200 S.W. Frazier Cir., Topeka, KS 66606) or the Grantville United Methodist Church (3724 South St, Grantville, KS 66429).
Due to coronavirus health and safety concerns, the family invites friends and the community to join a livestream online memorial service on Saturday, January 9 at 1 p.m. (central). Go to https://grantvilleksumc.org and click on “Live Church Service.” Or, view the livestream on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/grantvillechurch.
A recording of the service can be viewed later on YouTube at https://tinyurl.com/JackRees.