Lt. Col., Josef Isaac Reece, USMC, Ret., age 98, of Fernandina Beach, passed away at Baptist Medical Center in Jacksonville on Sunday September 9, 2018.
He was born in Clearwater, Florida on January 19, 1920 to the late Josef and Bert Hendricks Reece. He grew up in Johnson City, Tennessee and Pumpkintown, South Carolina. After graduating from Pickens High School and Clemson, Mr. Reece enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corp in 1942 and served as a commander of a small unit of amphibious assault vehicles at Saipan, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. He also served in the Korean War including the Chosin Reservoir campaign. He retired in 1968 after receiving the Legion of Merit as program manager for the LVTP7 amphibious vehicle program and bringing it in without cost overrun. He later became engineering manager at FMC supervising several armored vehicle programs before retirement in 1985.
In 2015 the Marines invited him to attend a 70th anniversary commemoration on Iwo Jima.
In 1948 Mr. Reece married the love of his life, the former Jane Severin in Atlanta, Georgia. They relocated to Amelia Island in 1991 from California.
Mr. Reece was first and foremost, a devoted Clemson Tigers Football Fan. He never missed going to every game for 20 years. In his later years, when he couldn’t physically attend the games he could always be found watching them on his TV. His critical medical event occurred watching Clemson play Texas A&M. He also enjoyed playing golf at Amelia Island Plantation and fishing.
Mr. Reece was preceded in death by his wife Jane in 2006 and a son, Stephen Josef Reece in 2017.
He leaves behind his son, John Reece of Truckee, California.
A funeral service will be at Quantico National Cemetery in Virginia and a memorial service at Amelia Plantation Chapel, dates and times to be determined.