Dr. James Wilford Reese

  • Born: September 15, 1946
  • Died: January 9, 2015
  • Location: Spartanburg, South Carolina

The J. F. Floyd Mortuary

235 North Church Street
Spartanburg, SC 29306

Tel. (864) 582-5451

Tribute & Message From The Family

Dr. James Wilford Reese, 68, of Spartanburg, SC, died Friday, January 9, 2015 at Magnolia Manor of Inman. Born September 15, 1946, he was the son of the late Wilford William Reese and Geneva Margaret Lamb Reese.

A veteran of the U.S. Army Reserves, he was a retired professor of economics at USC Upstate. He received his undergraduate degree from Auburn University and his Doctorate from the University of Tennessee in Econometrics.

After obtaining his Ph.D., James worked for the Treasury Department in Washington DC during the Nixon administration. He later took a teaching position with the overseas division of the University of Maryland, where he taught college level business courses to military personnel stationed in Europe and Asia. He eventually returned to SC, where he taught at USC Upstate, retiring after more than 25 years as a tenured, full professor.

During his tenure as a professor, he took numerous sabbaticals, traveling around the world to lecture and spread economic principles. He lectured in Korea, Japan, China, and Cuba, laying the ground work for trade relations. He loved exploring the outdoors during his travels and enjoyed skiing, motor biking, hiking, and kayaking. He obtained his black belt in Tai Kwon Do while studying in Japan. He was also an excellent photographer, capturing and preserving scenes from his many experiences around the world.

Survivors include a son, Alex Reese of Spartanburg, SC; a brother, The Honorable Glenn Reese and his wife Janis of Inman, SC; and a sister, Eleanor Huneycutt and her husband Avery of Inman, SC; a brother-in-law, Cecil Bradley and his wife Kay of Inman, SC; and nine nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by a sister, Judy Bradley.

Visitation will be 6:00-8:00 PM Friday, January 16, 2015 at Floyd's Greenlawn Chapel, 2075 E. Main St., Spartanburg, SC 29307. A memorial service will be held at 1:00 PM Saturday, January 17, 2015 at Trinity United Methodist Church, 626 Norwood St., Spartanburg, SC 29302, conducted by the Rev. Neil Y. Wood.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to Parkinson's Disease Research Center – Emory University, 1440 Clifton Road NE, Suite 170, Atlanta, GA 30322.

Floyd's Greenlawn Chapel



Condolence & Memory Journal

Praying here for the ENTIRE Reese family in the recent loss of James, especially Glenn, Eleanor and James' son during this very sad time. However, I can only smile to think of the wonderful reunion James is having with his Mom, Dad, Judy and all his grandparents. I will ALWAYS remember the fun we had growing up together in New Prospect, working at Rainbow Lake and Silver Lake and riding to Spartanburg and back taking piano lessons together and taking our life guard classes in the pool at Landrum; lots of fun I will ALWAYS remember. "Thank you Lord for my friend, James Reese, and I look forward to seeing him again and soon I hope!" Blessings and LOVE to you ALL.

Posted by Dean Jackson - Inman, SC - friend   January 17, 2015

We would like to express our sympathy and prayers to Senator Reese in the passing of his brother, James, and also to the entire family of
Dr. Reese. May God bless you all during this time of sadness.

Larry & Sharon Hutchins & family.

Posted by Larry and Sharon Hutchins - Spartanburg, SC - Friend   January 17, 2015

When I got to Auburn in 1964 (yes, it was 50 years ago!) I hardly knew anyone. But before long I got to know Joe Siren who also lived on West Glenn street. Through Joe I met this adventurous guy with a Thunderbird who Joe called Reese. James was a very friendly guy who made everyone he met comfortable and at home in his presence. But I really found out just what a solid guy he was a year or so after we graduated. I found myself in a pretty tight spot and I reached out to a few of my friends for support. James wrote a letter for me that hit exactly the right notes. It was a very generous gesture on his part and I will never forget it. Thanks again Jim.

Posted by Ralph Blaine - Ottawa - friend   January 16, 2015

To Claire, Alex and Glenn,
We just wanted you to know that we are so sorry for your loss. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you now and the days to come.
Susan Blair and Janice Camp

Posted by Susan Blair - Spartanburg, SC - Friend   January 15, 2015

Please accept my sincere sympathy. Jim and I met in Japan in 1975 as professors with UMFED, and were posted together to Taipei. We had a grand old time, and Jim kept in contact, especially these last 10 years or so. He was always full of stories of adventure and derring-do, but it was clear that he loved his family, especially his son, of whom he spoke so proudly. I know these last years have been hard, and I hope he can now rest in peace. But he will be remembered and missed by many. Sayonara.

Posted by Susan Basow - Easton, PA - Friend   January 14, 2015


Uncle James taught us girls alot of things he felt was necessary to keep us safe and smart in a world that preys on ignorant women. For instance, he taught me how to change my own tire so I could do it myself and NOT have to rely on the "kindness" of strange men. He warned us not to put stickers or tags on our cars that identified us as women so we would not be targets of those seeking to do us harm. He gave us wisdom nuggets like "Don't ever try to outrun the police because you can never outrun the radio." Or "If you're going to drive a fast car, don't buy a dark colored one because if you're gonna drive fast they at least need to be able to see you coming." He treated us like ladies and even took us on "dates" so we would feel special. When he was away st college or overseas, he would send us girls little gifts or tshirts from wherever he was. Again, that attention made us feel special. He would also tickle us until we couldn't breathe and totally killed the nerves in our shoulder muscles giving us the Spock pinch! He challenged us not to settle for mediocre, to always strive to outdo our own best efforts, and to never stop learning. Love and Hugs, Uncle James.

Posted by Melinda H. McMillion - Inman, SC - niece   January 14, 2015

Our deepest sympathies go out to the whole family. We are so sorry to hear of James' passing.
Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

Posted by Belinda and Joe Venner - Saline, MI - Friend   January 14, 2015

Harry and I send our sincere sympathy to the Reese family. You will be in our thoughts and prayers during this time.

Posted by Cathy McMillan - Campobello, SC   January 14, 2015


Growing up in Iman everyone knowledge The Reece Family and loved them dearly. Judy was my friend and classmate therefore I knew all of her family. So sorry for your loss of a dear part of family. My sympathy goes to each one of you .

Posted by Elizabeth Terry - Inman, SC - friend with sister Judy and fami   January 13, 2015

I am very sorry for the loss of your family member so soon in the new year. I, too, remember some good times at Rainbow Lake. I will not be able to attend the service and so, my prayers will be with the family.

Posted by B. Joyce Washington - Spartanburg, SC - friend   January 13, 2015

So sorry for James' son's loss. I am sure our grandparents and Judy were so glad to welcome him home.

Posted by Elaine Harris - Sparatnburg, SC - neice   January 13, 2015

So sad to hear of James's death. We had several long talks about our family history and events over the years here at the dental office I regret I cannot attend the services this weekend, Terry Willis

Posted by Terry Willis - Taylors, SC - relative - friend   January 13, 2015

Glenn, our family was shocked to learn that James had passed. You have our deepest sympathy and hope that in the coming days your pain will be eased with prayer. James touched many of our lives. I have such good memories of our times at Rainbow Lake with you and James. Your family is in our prayers.

Shirley Thompson and Judi Conard

Posted by Judith T Conard - Boiling Springs, SC   January 13, 2015


So sorry for your loss you are all in our thoughts and prayers. Bessie Mae Quinn & Sharon Kirk

Posted by Bessie Mae Quinn - Inman, SC - friend   January 12, 2015