Donald Reynolds Obituary (1926 – 2022) – Gulfport, MS
Colonel Donald E. Reynolds (July 17, 1926 – February 4, 2022) was born in Elkhart, Indiana to parents Ruth and Ernest, one of four children. In his youth, Donald dreamed of flying, so when he was old enough to enlist, at age 17, he joined the Army Air Corps Reserve. In January 1945, Cadet Reynolds was called up for flight training at Keesler AFB. At the end of the Second World War, in November 1945, he was fired; however, his career as an Air Force Reserve would continue throughout his life until his retirement on July 17, 1986. Colonel Reynolds was activated into the Air Force Reserve in 1953 as a photographic technician and later as an information technician, reaching the rank of technician. sergeant. Then in 1965, he was promoted to the rank of captain. Later assignments included service at several U.S. Air Force bases and at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C. He participated in joint military exercises in Europe, Alaska, and Central America, and disaster relief operations disaster in Honduras and Nicaragua.
He retired at the rank of colonel after more than 34 years of military service. His last assignment was with the Air Force Service Information and News Center, Kelly AFB, Texas, where he served as the commander’s mobilization assistant. Colonel Reynolds was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal and the Legion of Merit Medal for his contributions, respectively, to the Air Force Reserve Information Program and the integration of the Force Public Affairs Community Aerial. These joint and departmental wartime planning structures contributed significantly to the strength and readiness of the United States Air Force.
In a civilian capacity, Don Reynolds’ career included over 25 years in the fields of photojournalism, publishing and public affairs management. He has written and/or filmed articles and publicity artwork appearing in numerous media publications, including Life, Country Gentlemen, Ebony, Saturday Evening Post, Time and TV Guide. He worked as a reporter for two Ft. Wayne, Indiana daily newspapers. Additionally, he has served as photo editor for The Milwaukee Journal, associate editor for TAC ATTACK, Tactical Air Command, and director of information, Central Air Force Reserve Region. He also received the Meritorious Civilian Service Award for his tenure as Director of Communications 1970-1975 at Ellington AFB.
Although Don’s youthful ambition for flight training never materialized, he would pursue his love of being in a boat on the ocean by doing something productive. He would build a 40-foot workboat which he used to harvest blue crab in the coastal waters of Virginia. He later purchased a 60-foot shrimp outrigger, ‘Lil Bit’, which he operated in Galveston Bay to harvest shrimp and crab for his seafood business on the Texas coast. .
Don brought his vast knowledge and experience in communications and public affairs to guide Gulf Coast fishermen through turbulent times during the 1980s. Galveston, Texas and served as president of its local PISCES organization. In 1988, he was appointed by Texas Governor William P. Clements for a five-year term on the Galveston Bay National Estuary Program Management Committee. Donald has been active with the Gulf Oyster Industry Council, the Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference and the National Fishery Institute.
Colonel Reynolds and his wife Kathryn were married for 56 years until his death in June 2021. Kathryn was the radiant love of his life, partner, First Mate and confidante. Colonel Reynolds is survived by his sister, Eleanor Griffith, his daughters Sandra Parker (Tom), Cyndie Harter (Gary), Valerie Ballard (Gary); four grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
Riemann Family Funeral Home, 11280 Three Rivers Rd., Gulfport serves the family. An online guest book can be signed and condolences offered at www.riemannfamily.com.
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Posted by Riemann Family Funeral Homes – Gulfport on February 5, 2022.