"Greetings Leslie. I didn’t know you [at KHS] at least in part because I
only went to Kirkwood my junior and senior years. I’m not a regular on
your site but I do drop in now and again and wanted to let you know of
the passing of fellow classmate Reed Stites. Reed and I went into the
Army together in June of 1966 on what was called the “Buddy Plan” which
allowed friends to go through “Basic Training” together. If you
enlisted four four years you also got to choose your field of training
and where, in general terms, you would be stationed. We chose armor and
Germany. With the situation in Vietnam, Germany seemed a good choice
Tanks on the other hand don’t translate into any civilian occupation.
We ended up in different parts of Germany on three year tours but it
wasn’t long before Reed found he didn’t like Germany and he volunteered
for Vietnam. He spent his time on an M42 Duster in the thick of it for
two tours reaching the rank to Staff Sargent.
to the story but that will wait for another time. We both made it home
with very different experiences. Below is Reed’s obit.
a lighter note I have a short story about my son Jesse’s first day at
daycare. My wife Kat and I live near Cedar Creek in the Kingdom of
Callaway and drove to work together in Columbia MO. We were
apprehensively taking Jesse to a woman who cared for infants in her
home. All went well and as we headed out the front door I saw Alan
Yount and wife with baby in arms (daughter I soon learned) coming up the
walk. We both recognized one another. I was 37 and a long way from
high school. Life’s funny. Thanks ~ Rockford Reece KHS65"
William Reed Stites, age 72 of La Plata, Missouri, passed away unexpectedly Friday, February 7, 2020.
May 3, 1947 in Lansing, Michigan, the son of Dr. Joseph Gant Stites Jr.
and Lucy Gray (Cates) Stites who proceded him in death. On January 6, 1996 in La Plata, Missouri,
he was united in marriage to Carole (Lofblom) Van Hara who survives.
surviving are four daughters, Jaime L. Rader (Roger) of La Plata,
Missouri, Jessica C. Benedict (Jason Campbell) of Memphis, Missouri,
Gina Van Hara of Kirksville, Missouri, and Sydney E. Stites (Nick Ford)
of Kirksville, Missouri; One son, Mikel J. Glaspie (Lisa) of La Crosse,
Wisconsin; three sisters, Mary F. Morgan (Michael) of Elk Park, North
Carolina, Ruth S. Lutz (Gary) of Columbia, Missouri, and Lucy S. Baker
(Paul) of Long Beach, California; eleven grandchildren and several
nieces and nephews.
served in the United States Army from 1966 to 1970. He served two tours
of duty in Vietnam where he was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze
Star Medal. After living in Columbia, Missouri and Kirksville, Missouri
he moved to La Plata in 1984. He owned and operated Stites Interiors for
many years. He was a member of the Baptist Church.
Reed was a good man and a friend to many. He loved blessing his friends with his cooking, and loved his family dearly.
graveside service will be 12:00 p.m. Tuesday, February 11, 2020 at the
Missouri State Veterans Cemetery in Jacksonville, Missouri. Visitation
will be Tuesday, February 11, 2020 with the family receiving friends
from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at Travis Funeral Chapel in La Plata,
Lieu of flowers, memorials in memory of William Reed Stites may be made
to the Missouri State Veterans Cemetery in Jacksonville, Missouri. They
may be sent to or left at Travis Funeral Chapel, 125 S. Church St., La
Plata, MO 63549.
As they say, this is the rest of the story. As I was reading this from Rocky in the back of my mind was niggling that Reed, as we knew him at KHS, was married to one of the Barnard girls who I have connections to through Des Peres Presbyterian Church or else to one of the daughters of Mary Ellen and Don Barnard, he owning the Mobil station at Geyer & Manchester and she and I, later in life, encountering one another in our DAR chapter. Don was one of my step-father's good buddies, but I never knew Mary Ellen until I later encountered her at a DAR meeting. Turns out Reed's first wife was indeed one of the daughters of Don and Mary Ellen, I confirmed this when I spoke to a current good friend who is married to a Barnard from this tribe. I always say, when one stays in the same place all of one's life, the tentacles are very long and interconnected. I kept thinking there was something wrong with my memory so I asked my current Barnard friend for help and she straightened me out! But then, my memory also told me that Reed married/dated the [Barnard] girl who lived across the street from me on Claychester Drive..but according to my current pal, that part of my memory is wrong....but then!!!! I looked at my '65 yearbook....Reed signed it, we'd known one another from a class or two, Spanish maybe I think, and called himself my "practically" neighbor.... a bit of library research would straighten out my memory but it doesn't matter. I had the right couple in my memory, they unfortunately just didn't stay hitched! It amazes me how much detritus, as hubby Jack calls it, resides in a brain when it reaches our advanced age! But the great richness of those tentacles and connections is incomparable.
I asked Rocky a complicated question about Senor Skip Day - his experience wasn't what I thought maybe it was, an incorrect memory thread on my part, but we both admitted that our SSD involved water and alcohol! Maybe some day I'll post about that, but it involves others of our classmates who might not want to be named :-)) THANKS to Rocky for the memories and information about his and Reed's Army experiences. The more the merrier!!! All you Veterans send me yours! OH and ALAN YOUNT, isn't that funny that all those years later they ran into one another....which leads me to running into one of our classmates in an elevator in a downtown Chicago highrise office building one day many years ago...and we too recognized one another...Rocky's right, life can be funny that way!