Thursday, August 23, 2007

Stan Reynolds remembered

Stan Reynolds was a hero to his family long before he gave his life for his country. The 37-year-old Staff Sgt. in the U.S. Army was the father of three young daughters — Katelyn, who recently turned 8, Kristan, 7, and Emily, 4, who will both celebrate birthdays soon. According to family members gathered Friday evening at the Reynolds home in Rock, Reynolds was a loving father to his three girls and husband to his wife, Jill, and a patriotic American.

“This was his second tour of Iraq,” his uncle, Richard Bailey said. “He didn’t want to go back. He knew what it was like. But he followed orders. He was patriotic and he loved this country.”

Stanley Reynolds was an inquisitive young man who liked to hang around with his father and his father’s buddies when they worked on farm machinery at the family’s Wright Mountain Road home. His mom and dad, Sandra and the late Bernard Reynolds, provided a loving home environment during Stanley’s formative years.

A neighbor, Mickey Hurst, recalled that Stan hung around and watched his dad, Hurst and another neighbor work on tractors. “He was always wearing a pair of short britches,” Hurst said. “I remember teasing him about those being his chicken britches.”

Bernard Reynolds was a Lance Corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps and served in the Vietnam War. “Bernard could do just about anything,” Hurst said. “He got a backhoe and some other construction equipment, but there wasn’t enough work around here to keep him busy. The family moved to North Carolina, and lived down there for five or six years while Stanley and his brother, Jeff finished growing up.

“They didn’t have it easy in any way,” Hurst said. “They weren’t the kind of people who ever had anything given to them. Everything they got, they worked for it. I think that’s why I identified so much with Bernard and his family. They are good, hard-working, honest people.”

Bernard Reynolds died at his home at age 57, on Oct. 27, 2005. His family encouraged people to make memorial contributions to the Princeton office of the West Virginia Children’s Home Society.

Joanne Boileau, regional director of the Children’s Home Society expressed her appreciation for the gifts that came to the office, but was totally unaware of a connection between Mr. Reynolds or anyone in his extended family with the Children’s Home Society. “Sometimes people make gifts to the Children’s Home Society that go straight to Charleston,” Boileau said. “These gifts came to us.”

“He loved children,” Sandra Reynolds said of her husband. “That was the connection.”

Stan’s sister, Lu Reynolds, said her brother was attending Matoaka High School and would have graduated in the class of 1988, but the family moved to Statesville, N.C. and he finished high school in North Carolina. Lu Reynolds came back home and worked for a time in the Bluefield Daily Telegraph production department. Her co-workers remember her as being a free spirit with a deep love of family.

“She used to bring her son to work with her,” Teresa Jeffery said, “and she was always talking about her brother Stanley, and her whole family.”

After Stan Reynolds finished high school, he tried his hand at a number of occupations, before he becoming a trucker — an independent owner/operator. “That was a good job for a while, but after the price of fuel went real high, it put him out of business,” Richard Bailey said. “He went to school, earned his surface mining certification and went to work on a strip mining job. He was only there for about a month before he got laid off.”

At the time, Stan and Jill Reynolds had two girls, and Jill was pregnant with Emily. “Here’s a guy who was 31 years old, had a wife and two kids already, with another one on the way,” Bailey said. “When he joined the Army, he joked with me that he was getting a job that he wouldn’t get laid off from. But he was really patriotic too. He thought it was the right thing to do.”

From Allied News

Related Link:
Stanley B. Reynolds dies 'of injuries suffered when his helicopter crashed'