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The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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May 20, 2022

5/3/2022 5:29:00 AM
Reginald Glen "Bucky" Reed

The morning of April 22, 2022 "Earth Day" ...Reginald Glen "Bucky" Reed passed away peacefully, attended by family and good friends at Rennes in Rhinelander. For 95 years, Buck's life was built on faith, family and love of the great north woods. With his passing fades the valuable personal and historical knowledge of the Rhinelander area, spoken with fact, reverence, and humor. For those who knew him, a bit "long-winded".

In Dad's true story telling fashion, we begin...

Glen was born Nov. 9, 1926 in Rhinelander. His childhood memories brought to life a simpler time of hardy individuals where neighbors looked out for one another, respect earned and character was king!

Buck would reflect on the early morning horse-drawn milk wagon of his childhood, timed just right, meant a free ride to school and additional time with friends or of "Bums Island" east of the paper mill. The downtrodden and jobless rolling into town on the rails beneath the train cars, taking refuge on the little island, "warming" fires in barrels dotting the river's edge. During the Depression, local people left clothing, blankets and food at shoreline for the transients, "as anyone's lot in life could change at a moment's notice" and "it kept the stealing to a minimum." The effects of the Great Depression (1929-1930s) served as a catalyst for his commitment to community years after.

Buck attended Rhinelander High School and in 1944, enlisting at 17, proudly served in the U.S. Navy in World War II (1944-1945). As a kid, his "Huck Finn" antics included walking on the bottom of Town Line Lake with a makeshift helmet and hand pump. Swimming, a survival skill in the land of fresh water lakes, made Navy a natural choice. Cherished friendships and the rigors of war while stationed in the Philippines; Island of Leyte, Samar, & Tacloban, would accompany dad for his lifetime.

After World War II, Buck met, fell in love, and married Mary Jean Nehls of Monico in 1950, for 63 years. Together raising a family of four and looking after his mother on Marshall Street. Family time included church, daily devotions, Camp 10 skiing in winter, Trout Lake fishing/camping in spring, hiking the old logging roads/swimming at Faust Lake in summer, and deer hunting in fall.

From 1953 - 1983 Buck was manager of Ripco Credit Union, a then "mill only" credit union, located within the Rhinelander Paper Company building. His respect for hardworking individuals was evident in championing those in need of loans. A firm believer of Budget Books, Buck's financial guidance extracted a monthly commitment (%) of earnings transferred into a member's savings account. One mill worker, desperate for a 2nd loan (years later) to purchase a house for his family, humbly reapplied. Buck showed the member his monthly deposit from his check had continued to build into an amount 3X needed for purchase of a home, as monthly deposits accrued since his first loan! That was dad's goal and satisfaction; a hand up, not a hand out. Buck's vision included land acquisition (current location) from Tom Cleary and a second charter from an outside source, to include the Rhinelander community, growing the credit union exponentially! The "Hallmark" of his commitment to Rhinelander families.

Buck also enjoyed the intricacies of writing and submitted numerous opinion editorials for the local newspaper. Some well received and a few we held our breath on, but all submissions he believed to benefit/"wake up" the local area.

Dad's love of outdoors exposed us to his appreciation of fishing, hunting, camping, tree planting (Trees for Tomorrow), tennis, biking, running, golf, kite flying, horseshoes, canoeing, pontooning, Camp 10 ski patrol, cross country skiing and ice fishing. His enthusiasm for family activities was endless and we were the beneficiaries, as are his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

The physical aspects of his life kept him agile and vested, but the value of "connection" is what is remembered best. Later years, widowed, adult children moved away, the "Rhinelander Community" returned tenfold the same care and consideration to him, that he had given to it.... for that, Buck's family sincerely thanks you.

Buck is survived by his four children: Michael Reed (Myra) of Omaha, Neb., Sidnee Malek (Mark) of Spring Green, Barbara Qualley (Vin) of Oshkosh, and Robert Reed (Janice) of DePere; 11 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and his brother, Donald Reed of Rhinelander. He is preceded in death by his parents, Carleton & Mary Rita Reed, his wife Mary Jean, his brother Dale, and his sister, Mona.

Our family would like to thank Rennes Rehab and Care Center staff and Compassus Hospice staff for their kind and loving care of Dad in his final days. Our gratitude extends to Dr. Paco Fralick and Heidi, Joe at Trig's Pharmacy, Sandy at the VA in Rhinelander, those serving Meals on Wheels, the cordial staff at the Hodag Dome, the kind neighbors of Musky Bay Drive, and dear friends Marty and Jerry Neis, Twin Maltbey, Connie Hunter, Carolyn and Tom Froelich, longtime friends Bruce Carlson & family, and the many people of Rhinelander who supported Dad through their conversation and care.

Visitation for Buck will be held on Saturday, June 25, 2022 from 9 to 11 a.m. with memorial services following at 11 a.m., all at the Carlson Funeral Home. Interment will follow in the Newbold Memorial Cemetery.

A memorial is being established in Buck's name and may be directed to his family. You may leave your private condolences for the Reed family at

The Carlson Funeral Home (715-369-1414) is handling the arrangements for the family.

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