Joel Reese

January 25, 1937 - August 16, 2014 

Joel Reese

January 25, 1937 - August 16, 2014 

Obituary for Joel Reese

Joel Reese was born to the union of Benjamin and Willie Jones Reese, January 25, 1937, in Clarksdale, Mississippi. He was baptized at Centennial Baptist Church in Clarksdale, Mississippi.

Joel excelled in sports in his home town of Clarksdale; in particular football and baseball. It was also in Clarksdale that he met his beloved wife of 58 years Bessie Clark (Reese). Joel and Bessie with their first born child left Mississippi to start a new life in Columbus, Ohio in 1956. Over the years their family grew. The family of three became a family of 7. Joel worked hard to support his family. His love of sports stayed with him and in the 1960’s he put together a team of young women including his wife Bessie and formed a women’s slow pitch softball team. This group of women along with their coach, Joel Reese, called themselves the Columbus Waves. They were one of just a few African American teams to play in a Columbus City League.

Joel played and coached softball teams for many years including coaching several members of his own family- daughters, sons, nieces, nephews and eventually grandchildren before he retired. If you were a Reese you were going to participate in some kind of sport for sure. Joel loved his family and was a man of great pride. Some of his favorite past times were his Ushering Ministry at New Salem Missionary Baptist Church, eating sweet snacks, drinking Pepsi, and traveling back home to Mississippi. Joel, also known as Poppa Joe had an infectious smile and was loving and caring to many who knew him.

Joel was preceded in death by his parents, Benjamin and Willie Jones Reese; brothers, Eddie Reese, LeRoy (Billy) Reese, and twin brother Jewell Reese, Sr.; sisters, Elmer Griffin, Lena Foster, Wilma Reese-Wells; and grandson Dwayne Reese.

Joel is survived by his beloved wife Bessie Reese; sons, Joel Reese, Jr. and Michael (Debra) Reese; daughters Marilyn Reese, Sharon Reese, Doris Reese; sisters, Barbara Reese of Columbus, Ohio and Betty (James) Reese- Cooksey of Milwaukee, WI; seven grandchildren, Larry, Tiffany, Tonya, Rhonda, Branden, Destiny, and Michael Jr.; 11 great grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

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