Donald James Reis

Donald James Reis

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Donald James Reis, 87, of Jacksonville, Florida, formerly of Gibson City, died Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, at his home in Jacksonville, Fla.

Mr. Reis was born June 26, 1932, in Bloomington, as the youngest son of Orlin “Fred” and Helen Briggs Reis. He was raised in Gibson City and Kankakee, and he enjoyed an idyllic childhood in Central Illinois and with his paternal grandparents on their dairy farm in Iowa. He married Patricia Goodmon on May 9, 1964, in Weldon, and the two enjoyed 49 years of true love and teamwork before she died on Oct. 28, 2013.

Mr. Reis’ most important role was as the patriarch of his family, who are grateful for his example of steadfast love and encouragement. Surviving are a daughter, Amy R. (Robert) McGeorge of Jacksonville, Fla.; a son, James (Jill) Reis of Quincy; four beloved grandchildren, Kellen McGeorge, Kendall McGeorge, Jamison Reis and June Reis; and nine special nieces and nephews.

His only brother, “Gene” Reis, preceded him in death.

Mr. Reis graduated from the University of Illinois with a bachelor of science degree in marketing and earned his juris doctor from the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor, Mich. He practiced law as the managing partner of Williams, Damon & Reis in Grand Rapids, Mich., before becoming the director of securities for the State of Michigan and ultimately the chief deputy secretary of state for the State of Nevada.

As an expert in securities law, Mr. Reis held leadership roles in a variety of regulatory organizations addressing legal and enforcement matters at both the state and national levels. Always interested in higher education, he served on the faculty of the Eli Broad School of Business at Michigan State University, as well as serving a guest lecturer at Wayne State University and Cooley College of Law.

In retirement, Mr. Reis served as an expert witness in securities litigation and taught weekly current events courses to encourage other retirees to stay updated on politics and matters of national interest. Throughout his lifetime, Mr. Reis served the Presbyterian Church, USA, at both the Presbytery and local church level as an elder, clerk of session, guest preacher and member of the Committee on Ministries and the Permanent Judicial Commission.

His funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, at the Gibson City United Methodist Church, where he was baptized in 1932. The service will be officiated by the Rev. John Tennyson and a lifelong friend, the Rev. Kurt Stiansen. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service, and a reception will follow at the Country Kettle.

A celebration of life will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, at the Concert Hall and Theater of Grand Living at Tamaya, located at 3270 Tamaya Blvd. in Jacksonville, Fla., with the Rev. Bill Hoff and the Rev. Steve Goyer officiating. A reception will follow in the same location.

Burial will be in Drummer Township Cemetery in Gibson City.

Memorial contributions may be made to Don and Pat’s church, Westminster Presbyterian Church of Fairfield Glade, 114 Stonehenge Dr., Crossville, TN 38558.