James Vernon Reagan was born June 16, 1919 in Clarendon, Texas to James Roscoe and Meda Reagan. He passed away on February 6, at the age of 88 at Care Inn of Abilene. He grew up in Panhandle, Texas where he graduated from high school. He spent a short time at West Texas College when a knee injury ended his football scholarship and he began a long career working for the Texas Highway Department.
Vernon met and married the love of his life, Betty Jo Johnson on December 24, 1940. His career with the Highway Department was interrupted when he enlisted in the United States Army on October 14, 1942 and was assigned to the Corps of Engineers where he commanded General Service Engineer Unit 1328 in the European Theater. He left the Army on December 31, 1945 at the rank of Captain.
At the end of the war, he returned with his wife and daughter to Amarillo to take up a 44-year career as a Superintendent with the Highway Department. While living in Amarillo, he served at Washington Avenue Christian Church as Bible class teacher, deacon, and an elder. He was a leader of men at war, at work, and at church. Upon retirement, he and his wife moved to El Cajon, California and spent many wonderful years traveling all over the United States. In 1994, they moved to Abilene to be near family. He spent much time in his workshop crafting tables, bookcases and bird houses for his loving family.
Vernon was preceded in death by his parents, his life-long friend, Ellis McCook and wife Elizabeth, and a grandson, Shane Farr.
He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Betty; his daughter, Sue Farr Larry; his sister, Evelyn Belcher of Slidell, Louisiana; grandchildren, Leigh Anne Campbell Al, James Kirk Lomax Melissa, Kimberly Sue Roohms JJ, and Kristy Lynn Hill; Vernon is also the Papa of eight great grandchildren that cherish precious times with him. His special nieces and nephews, Jim Woodard, Pat Murr, Kay Hendrickson and Linda Lehnardt have wonderful memories of their Unci.
A graveside service will be held at 2:00 PM on Saturday, February 9th at Elmwood Memorial Park under the direction of Elmwood Funeral Home, 5750 HWY 277 South.
It was an honor to care for your sweet husband, father and grandfather. During the short time that I had getting to know Jim I found him to be a gentle, sweet and kindhearted man who loved his wife dearly, talking often of Sue and the kids, and always, always had a smile for us nurses. I will miss him, but feel blessed having had known him. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
Donna LockardAbilene, TX