William B. Reeves (Bill) passed away peacefully at home in Mosier, Ore., on Wednesday, May 2, 2018. Bill was 76 years old. He was born on Jan. 29, 1942, in Sidney, Neb., the son of Vernon and Doris (Miles) Reeves. Bill joined three brothers (Charles, John and Russell) and two sisters (Shirley and Susan) came soon after Bill. When Bill was young, the family sold their sugar beet farm in Nebraska and moved to a farm in Laclede, Idaho. Bill was in middle school when his family moved to Mosier. Bill graduated from Mosier High School and later earned an Electrical Engineering degree from Oregon Technical Institute.
Bill married his high school sweetheart, Jeanne, in 1963 and later that year they moved to San Jose, Calif., where Bill worked as a technical writer. However, in 1967, Bill was drafted into the military and served one tour of duty in the Vietnam War.
Bill always had an interest in farming and returning to Mosier. In 1970, he jointly purchased a small cherry orchard in Mosier with Ken Hudson. Bill continued to live and work in San Jose, but took vacation time in the summer to go to Mosier and work the cherry harvest. After a few years of going back and forth, Bill and Jeanne moved back to Mosier and a short time later purchased a larger orchard.
Bill continued work as a technical writer in Portland and would commute back and forth, but eventually he left his career in technical writing and became a full time farmer. Over the years, he purchased neighboring land and planted pears and newer varieties of cherries.
Bill was an avid inventor. He was always designing and building a handy farm tool from the many pieces of scraps he had purchased at auctions. He could take a pile of junk and remarkably turn it into something useful.
Bill’s biggest undertaking was building a home in Mosier. He completed nearly all of the work himself — from the foundation and framing to wiring and roofing. He was very happy and proud to live in the house that he built.
Bill was a generous and dedicated member of his community. He enjoyed teaching and mentoring kids. In the early 1970s, Bill worked at the Hood River Valley High School in the shop, mentoring students. He coached fourth grade basketball at Mosier School for 20 years. He also hosted school children for an annual bloom time visit to the orchard. He built a see-through beehive so the kids could observe the bees at work and learn how flowers are pollinated.
Bill was fun loving and caring. He enjoyed playing golf, basketball and white water rafting. He devoted much of his time to his family and was married to Jeanne for 55 years. He is survived by his wife Jeanne, two children, Todd (Belenda) and Carrie (Rob), and three granddaughters, Maren, Maggie and Savannah.
A celebration of life will be held Saturday, June 2 at 11 a.m. at the Mosier Grange Hall. Please bring stories to share. Bill touched many lives and always enjoyed reminiscing with family and friends.
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