John Thomas “Tom” Reed of Murphysboro, passed away on Monday, December 16, 2019 at the Community Living Center in the hospice unit of the VA Hospital in Marion.
Tom was born on November 23, 1946 in Carbondale to W.R. “Pete” Reed and Gertrude Margaret Stadelbacher Reed.
Tom attended Marion High School and in 1966 enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He trained at both Jacksonville Naval Air Station in Florida and Whidbey Island Naval Air Station in Washington where his squadron was stationed. After completing his training, Tom deployed to Vietnam in a Naval Aerial Reconnaissance unit successfully completing two tours of duty as an Airman Electrician. On one occasion, while attempting to land at Ton Son Nhut Air Base near Saigon, his plane encountered enemy fire and had to make an emergency escape. No on was injured and they were able to safely land at Da Nang airfield.
After an honorable discharge from the Navy, Tom trained as an electrician, attaining journeyman status. He worked for various contractors, including Belcher Electric in Anna for 21 years and ended his career at SIUC where he worked for 19 years. Throughout his life Tom also worked as a professional musician in the area playing bass with various bands for over 40 years. The “best gig I ever had” he said, was playing with his siblings The Reed Family Band and doing jam sessions with his brother and nephews.
Tom leaves behind to mourn his death and remember his life, his son, Zach Reed of Champaign; his two daughters, Tammi Clifton of Herrin and Holly (Will) Harmon of Marion; siblings, Elizabeth McRoy and friend Dan Jennings of Marion, David (Sandy) Reed of Carbondale and Suzy Reed and friend Dave Leemon of Carbondale; grandchildren, Sydney Motsinger and friend Brandon McKinney of Marion, Amber Ryder and friend Jacob Hagston of Marion, Gabriel Harmon of Marion; great grandson, Kade McKinney of Marion; several nieces and nephews and extended family members and not to be forgotten, special family friend, Jean Driver of Marion.
Sad though we may be, Tom was ready to transition out of this life into the unknown of the universe. He was at peace. The following quote on grief may in part help assuage the grief we now bear.
“Grief, I’ve learned is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give, but cannot. All of that unspent love gathers in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat and in the hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go.”
Ground control to Major Tom, soar brother soar.
In accordance with his wishes, Tom’s remains will be cremated. A celebration of his life and interment of his ashes will take place in the spring.
Blue Funeral Home in Marion is assisting the family with arrangements.