Basil “Red” Reed, 97, of Keokuk, died Saturday, January 7, 2018 at the River Hills Village in Keokuk, IA.
He was born November 30, 1920 in Gregory Landing, MO the son of Albert and Hilda Fredelake Reed. On May 16, 1952 he was united in marriage to Norma Lee Kinkeade in Pocahontas, AR. She preceded him in death on October 26, 2004.
He was a veteran of the United States Army and proudly served his country during WW II. He served in the 5th Engineering Special brigade from August 1942 – October 1945. He was one of the last remaining veterans locally and in the United States, who served on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day. He was awarded five Bronze Stars.
Red had been employed by Hubinger’s in Keokuk for thirty-three years, until his retirement on January 1, 1983.
He was a member of the VFW Post 3508 and the American Legion Post #41. He had been a member of the military honors firing squad since 1983, and had served as the American Legion Chaplin since 1995. He continued to conduct military services until he was in his mid-90s and had conducted more than 1,000 funerals for local veterans. The City of Keokuk honored Red’s service by dedicating a granite bench in his name at the Keokuk Veterans’ Memorial.
Red enjoyed spending time outdoors gardening. He also liked reading books. Red was an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan.
He is survived by one son, Joe Reed of Keokuk, seven grandchildren, twenty-one great-grandchildren, and several great-great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
He was also preceded in death by one daughter, Carolyn Steele, one great-granddaughter, Cheyenne Nicole Steele, two sisters, Lois Standley and Marian Scott and five brothers, Cecil, Russell, Hershel, Marshall and Edsel.
A graveside service with military rites will be held at 11 a.m., Thursday at the Keokuk National Cemetery at 11 a.m.
Visitation will be held after 1 p.m., Wednesday, at the Vigen Memorial Home in Keokuk with family meeting with friends from 6-8 p.m.
Memorials may be made to the Keokuk American Legion Post #41 or to the American Cancer Society.
Online condolences may be left for the family at www.vigenmemorialhome.com.