Charles E. Reeder
Charles E. Reeder
July 20, 1927 - August 8, 2018
Charles E. Reeder of Waco, retired Baylor chemistry professor, passed from this worldly life to eternal life with God on Wednesday, August 8, 2018, at the age of 91 years. A service celebrating his life will be held at Seventh & James Baptist Church on Tuesday, August 14, 2018 at 1:30 p.m. Graveside service will follow at Waco Memorial Park. Visitation will be held on Monday, August 13, 2018 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at OakCrest Funeral Home, 4520 Bosque Boulevard.
Charles Edgar Reeder was born on a farm in Jefferson County, Iowa, near the town of Parsonville on July 20, 1927 to John Henry Reeder and Ella Grace Snook Reeder. He was the oldest of three children. He spent his early grade school years living on the farm and going to school in one room school houses. His family moved to Fairfield, Iowa while he was in high school and he graduated from Fairfield High School. He was introduced to Texas when he served in the Army and did his basic training in San Antonio and then was stationed at Fort Bliss Army Hospital in El Paso and was assigned to the Army Medical Corp.
On the GI Bill, he earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Wheaton College in Illinois. He continued his education at Iowa State University where he earned a PhD in chemistry. It was at Iowa State where he tutored the love of his life, Willa Mae VanDoorninck who was a fellow science grad student (Biology) and who also shared his love for teaching (later teaching at Robinson High School, Texas State Technical Institute, and McLennan Community College). They were married on September 1, 1956 and they spent their first year of marriage in Maine where Charles taught chemistry at Bates College. He then accepted an associate professor position at Baylor University and moved to Waco in 1957. He taught in the Chemistry Department until he retired in 1992.
Soon after moving to Waco, he joined Seventh and James Baptist Church where he later became a Deacon and served as the church business secretary for many years. In the early years in Waco, he was a member of the Waco Kiwanis Club, and he and his wife were members of several square dance clubs. In the later years after his wife died and he retired, he remained active into his late 80s in the Shooting Stars Square Dance Club, the Retired Professor’s Group, and the Friday Night Hamburger Group that met for many years at Kim’s Burgers. Shortly before turning 90 years old, he moved from his home into the Stilwell Teachers Retirement Residence where the wonderful family there made him feel at home.
He was preceded in death by his wife, his parents, several sisters/brother-in-laws, and most recently a nephew, Doug Reeder.
He is survived by his children: Ruth Hanson and husband Peter; John Reeder and wife Brenda; and James Reeder. He is also survived by his sister, Kay Lackey and husband Kenneth, and brother, Paul Reeder. He is survived by five grandchildren (Sarah, Rebekah, Jonathan, Samuel, and Elizabeth).
Instead of flowers, the Family requests memorial donations be made to The Baylor Chemistry Department Scholarship Fund, University Development, One Bear Place #97050, Waco, TX 76798-7050; or The Stilwell Memorial Residence, 5400 Laurel Lake Drive, Waco, Texas 76710.