Brother Blonza Reed Jr. 69, departed this life Friday April 19, 2019 in Florence County. He was the husband of Shirley Reed, the father of Maurice Reed, Tonia Reed, Champ Reed and Denzel Reed. You may visit the family at 5314 S. Hwy 41 Marion in the St. James Community.
Wake services are scheduled to be held at the Jackson & McGill Memorial Chapel, Thursday April 25, 2019, 6pm-7pm. St. James Lodge #344 will be inc charge of rites.
Funeral services are scheduled to be held at the St. James AME Church Friday April 26, 2019 at 1:00 pm. He will be laid to rest in the St. James AME Church Cemetery.
~ Obituary ~
Blonza Reed Jr., was born in Marion County, South Carolina on March 1, 1950. He was the fifth of six children born the late Blonza Reed Sr., and Fredrena Williams Reed. He entered into eternal rest on April 19, 2019 at McLeod Regional Medical Center in Florence South Carolina.
He received his high school diploma from Terrell’s Bay High School in Centenary, S.C. An academic scholar, he graduated as salutatorian of his class. He was also a member of the legendary Coach Taft Watson basketball team. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from South Carolina State University, in Orangeburg, S.C. majoring in Chemistry and a minor in Biology. At South Carolina State University he was a member of the Ernest E. Just Science Club, German Club, Mays Hall Club, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. His goal was striving to be the top student in his classes and he did by achieving the Dean’s List quarterly. While being a studious young man, he also had an endearing sense of humor which garnered him a diverse group of friends.
Before beginning his career as an educator, he was recruited by the DuPont Pharmaceutical Company to work in a laboratory in Charlotte, N.C. A year later he moved to Richmond, Virginia where he was a teacher coordinator at one of the local schools. In 1975, at the request of his father, he obediently returned home to Marion, South Carolina to be near his mother and father and assisted with the family farm. He was employed as a teacher in the Horry County Public School. He was employed by the Marion County School District and taught Physical Science, Life Science, and Biology at Palmetto Junior High School in Mullins, S.C.
He accepted Christ in his life at an early age. He was very active in the St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church. His duties included teaching Sunday school, singing on the Church choir, and member of the youth usher board. While small in stature as a teen, he was given the nick name”Lep” by his now deceased friend, Francis Marion Williams, short for Leprechaun. He loved sports and as a youth participated in the community baseball team, which consisted of a large group of boys from the St. James community. Their mode of transportation to competing teams was provided by Brother Shorter Stevenson, who would load the community boys up on the back of his pickup truck on Saturday afternoons. During that time there were a large group of young boys growing up together in the St. James community who supported each other and built strong nurturing relationships which have stood the test of time.
Beginning in 1980’s he was the manager and coordinator for the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act, (CETA Program). This Federal Program administered by the United States Department of Labor, provided summer employment for hundreds of Marion County teenagers during his high school years. He coordinated this program for over 10 years.
In 1994, Blonza Reed Jr. suffered a severe stroke leaving him without the capacity for speech and the inability to walk. Due to grace of God’s mercy and with the passionate prayers of his wife, children, mother, siblings, and community, he eagerly participated in the rehabilitation process and regained his speech and was able to walk again. He fought his way back to a fruitful and enriching life style, but most importantly he was able to start back farming which was one of the things he loved most.
In his adult life, the church became very important to him. He participated and was very involved in the transitions and changes that were taking place. He was involved in the planning, fundraising, and building of the new St. James A.M.E. Church, where he faithfully served as a Steward and Class Leader.
He was initiated into the Masonic Brotherhood and was a member of the St. James Lodge #344 Chapter.
He was joined in Holy Matrimony to Shirley Ann Legette and to that union four children were born: Maurice, Tonia, Blonza Reed III and Denzel.
Blonza loved his children and worked hard to make sure they all were given an opportunity to pursue higher education and become productive members of society. This is evident today by the successful careers each of them has chosen. He was a devoted husband, father, brother, and friend. He will surely be missed but never forgotten by the friends, family, and even strangers whose lives he touched.
Preceded him in death one sister Shirley Reed Arnold
Blonza leaves to cherish his memories a devoted wife: Shirley Reed, and three sons, Maurice (Erica) Reed, Belton, TX, Blonza Reed III "Champ" of the home, Denzel Reed of the home and one daughter Tonia Reed, Loganville, GA, Sisters: Trophelia Reed Hall, Marion SC, Vivian (Dr. Henry William) Berry, Antioch, Tennessee, Carolyn C Reed, Marion SC, Fredrena Gail Reed, Washington DC. Mother-In-Law: Elizabeth Legette, Mullins, SC Sisters-In-Law: Glenda (Hubert) Best, Anyor SC, Brenda (Rodney) Carmichael, Hinesville, GA, Gloria (William) Fling, Loris, SC and Paris (Robert) Genwright, Mullins, SC, Geraldine (Theodore) Williams, Marion, SC, brother in laws Carl Duncan, Marion SC, Roy Arnold, District Heights, Maryland. Preston (Veronica) Legette, Columbia, SC. Five grandchildren: Shaniya Haylee Gause, Aaliyah Reed, Maurice Reed Jr., Ny’Quan Jordan and Katelyn Reed and host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends. Special nephew Nikolas Reed.