The Times West Virginian

April 6, 2013

James L. Reaser


Times West Virginian

— James L. Reaser, 76, joined his heavenly family on Wednesday (April 3, 2013). He passed peacefully at Clarksburg Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

He was born on Aug. 3, 1936, in Clarksburg, son of the late Virginia Stout Reaser and Leslie Albert Reaser.

Jim married the love of his life, Connie Stutler, on May 13, 1956, in Bristol, and they were blessed with more than 56 years together. He is survived by one son, Mark Reaser and his wife Beth Jarrett-Reaser of Port Republic, Md.; one daughter, Amy R. Bunch and her husband Tim of Lake Floyd; two grandchildren, Clarissa Bunch of Morgantown and Corey Bunch of Lake Floyd; and a nephew, Greg Schillace and his wife Rhonda and their two children Colton and Mia of Lake Floyd.

He is also survived by one sister, Claryice Yost and her husband Kenneth of Albuquerque, N.M.; and three brothers, Jack Reaser and his wife Betty of Michigan, Tom Reaser and his wife Charlotte of Flinderation, and Albert Reaser and his wife Sue of Crozet, Va.

He was predeceased by one brother, Bill Reaser Sr., whose wife Doris survives. He also leaves several nieces and nephews and their families.

Foremost in his life was his love of his Lord. He was an active member of the Enon Baptist Church where he served many years as an ordained deacon and teacher.

Jim’s children and grandchildren were his pride and joy, and he enjoyed nothing more than spending time with them. He loved to attend their activities, rarely missing any of them.

Jim loved people, and would always return their greeting with a hearty “Fantastic, any better I couldn’t stand it.” And though there was not always agreement, he always treated everyone and their opinion with respect.

He graduated from Bristol High School in 1954, attended Salem College and served as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army and West Virginia National Guard. Jim was an avid West Virginia University Mountaineer fan, especially enjoying attending most home football and basketball games.

Jim served the children and taxpayers of Harrison County on the Harrison County Board of Education for almost 30 years. His motto was “the man whose concern is every child.” During his service as a school board member, 10 new public schools and the United Technical Center at Gore were built. Major additions or renovations were also completed at 15 schools. Some of the other programs and innovations in the school system which were initiated during his time on the board were the establishment of kindergartens, preschool programs, special education of the mentally and physically challenged, the annual testing of all students, the introduction of guidance counseling in the elementary and middle schools, strengthening of the curriculum especially in the study of mathematics, reading, writing, arts and a dramatic increase in computer training, distance learning, and established both middle and high school Transitional Schools which help children who have problems in school. Jim also was the recipient of the Outstanding Service Award of the West Virginia School Board Association.

He served in many organizations, including the Clarksburg Camp of Gideons International, Harrison County Farm Bureau, United Technical Center, Sacred Heart Foundation, Harrison County United Way, Salem Area Chamber of Commerce and the Harrison Public Library.

He was an assistant plant manager and employee relations administrator for Union Carbide Corp. in Anmore, from where he retired with 39 years of service. While an active employee, he was recognized worldwide by being awarded the Chairman’s Award and the Union Carbide Peoples Excellence Award. After that retirement, he served as Lake Floyd’s caretaker for many years. He was known to tell people “I’m going to wear out, not rust out,” and he lived that motto by helping many people until he survived a stroke in 2011.

A gathering of family and friends will be held at Enon Baptist Church, Flinderation Road, Bristol, WV, today from 6-8 p.m. and Sunday from 2-5 p.m. and 6-8 p.m., with the funeral service at 10 a.m. Monday. Interment will be in the Bridgeport Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Enon Baptist Church College Scholarship Fund would be welcome (521 Flinderation Road, Salem, WV 26426).

Hutson Funeral Home.