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Mena Arkansas News covering Polk County and the surrounding area

Jesse John Reed

Mr. Jesse John Reed, age 76 years old, of Acorn, Arkansas, passed away peacefully in his home on July 7, 2022. Jess was born in Mena, Arkansas, on October 17, 1945, to the late Clarence Henry Reed and Grace Viola Emmons Reed.

Jess married Minnie Lee Henry, his high school sweetheart and the love of his life in November of 1963. In July of 1970, they had one beautiful daughter, Cathryn.

Jess graduated from Acorn High School in 1963 and went on to Arkansas State Teachers college in Conway, Arkansas, before joining the United States Air Force. He served the next 7 years as an Air Traffic Controller, where he had numerous saves and received several medals. During that time, Jess and his wife Minnie spent some of their best days travelling together to the many Air Force Bases. While on Base, Jess fulfilled his love for basketball by becoming a basketball coach and player for the Air Force Communications Team.

After returning home from the Air Force, Jess helped raise their daughter, finished his college, and spent the next 30 years working at US Electrical Motors in Mena, Arkansas, as an Electrical Engineer.

When Jess retired, he got to spend more time doing what he loved most, which most of which included his family that he loved fiercely. He loved spending his early mornings on the front porch drinking coffee next to his wife. He enjoyed tending to his garden and fruit trees, canning his produce with his wife, and sharing his crop with others. He shared a love for history with his siblings and enjoyed searching for old artifacts that those before us left behind. He was an avid hunter and fisherman and loved being out in nature. He loved being at deer camp sitting around the fire telling stories, checking trail cameras and cutting firewood. Jess had a great passion for teaching his daughter, grandkids, and great grandkids all things outdoors and instilled a rare legacy within them.

 Jess spent many hours sitting around the table whooping up on everyone in dominoes and cards, serving as the family’s official scorekeeper with his beloved pup dog, Harley, by his side. He was a lifelong devout Arkansas Razorback fan and especially enjoyed watching them beat any Oklahoma or Texas team. Jess was a jack of all trades and spent much of his time woodworking where he was a true artist and craftsman. He played a crucial part in quilt making, serving as Minnie’s own personal quilt piece cutter while she did the sewing. He enjoyed spending hours and hours creating over 100 beautiful quilts with his beloved wife.

Jess had a contagious joy about him that made everyone feel welcomed and loved. He never met a stranger, he genuinely loved people, and had a joy for sharing his childhood stories and the many lessons learned. Jess loved to have fun with everyone and share a good laugh. He was a family guy, always pulling a good one over on someone, and picking on whoever he could.

Jess loved the Lord and always strived to be a godly man. He was always offering to lend a hand and wanting to help out where he was needed. Jess adored his family very much, he always took care of them and loved them more than anything.

He lived a great life, one well worth remembering. He was our legend. He showed us how to love fiercely. He was a bright spark in this world and will be deeply missed by all of his family, friends, and anyone that knew him. There will never be another Jess Reed or Papa as great as he was.

Jess is survived by his wife, Minnie Lee Henry Reed, of Acorn, Arkansas; daughter, Cathryn Reed McEntire and husband, Michael McEntire of Acorn, Arkansas; grandchildren, Jessica Tunnell and husband, Aaron Tunnell of Acorn, Arkansas, Cassie Powell and fiancé, JD Clepper of Acorn, Arkansas, Colton Powell and wife, Jordan Powell of Acorn, Arkansas, Westen McEntire of Acorn, Arkansas, Buddy Cusson of Acorn, Arkansas; great-grandchildren, Lucas Tunnell, Brantlee Tunnell, Tessa Lee Tunnell, Maddie Powell and Claire Powell; brother, Oscar (OJ) Reed; sister, Margarett (Margo) Reed Kimp; and brothers-in-law, Bill Kimp and Jerry Cox; as well as a host of other family and friends.

Jess is preceded in death by his parents, Clarence and Grace Reed; brothers, William (Bill) Reed, Richard (Rick) Reed; sisters, Violet Jo Reed Cox, Peggy Reed Beaver; brother-in-law, Bob Beaver; and by his sister-in-law, Beverly Southard Reed.

Services for Mr. Reed will be held 2:00 p.m., Monday, July 25, 2022, at Beasley-Wood Chapel in Mena, Arkansas. Cremation arrangements have been made with Beasley-Wood Funeral Home.

Online obituary at

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