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Donald Lee Reese, 1938-2013

Donald Lee ReeseDonald Lee Reese, 74, of Casper, Wyoming died February 17, 2013 at the Wyoming Medical Center in Casper, Wyoming after a lengthy illness. A memorial service will be held Friday, February 22, 2013 at 10:00 AM at the First Presbyterian Church of Casper, Wyoming. Pastor Paul Kuhn will officiate. 

Don was born July 9, 1938 in Hartville, Missouri. Shortly thereafter, the family moved to central Kansas where his father found work in the oil field. He attended high school and graduated in Holyrood, Kansas, in 1956. In his youth, Don enjoyed fishing local rivers for catfish, catching several cats in the 40 pound range. After graduation, he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Oklahoma in 1961. He spent summers working as a roughneck, earning tuition money for the following year.

Don was an avid reader and analyzed every situation to 10-word summation. His many hobbies included baseball, football and a wide variety of interests. While Don enjoyed competitive sports, he struggled with poor health which kept him from competing. As such, he always rooted for the underdog. While in Alaska, he built an “unsinkable” 28-foot commercial fishing boat, the Try me, with the help of several neighborhood boys.

Don worked in domestic and international oil fields his entire adult life. He engineered the first discovery well on the North Slope of Alaska for British Petroleum and the deepest oil well ever drilled in the Anadarko Basin, Oklahoma. Don displayed great integrity as he always considered the wellbeing of people, equipment, animals, and the earth when making decisions and carrying forth plans. He also engineered wells for Marathon London and Saudi Arabian companies.
While Don worked long hours, often many miles from home, family was first on his mind. He was particularly fond of the children. He was intrigued to see the world through their eyes, which kept him young. Don valued education and pushed kids and grandkids to excel; he wanted to see them use their minds. His home was filled with music, laughter, and love.

Everyone who knew Don appreciated his quick wit and keen intellect.

Don is survived by his wife, Beverly Reese of Casper, Wyoming. Five children, Darla Belgum of Lincoln, Nebraska; Darren Reese (Melissa) of Valdez, Alaska; Jacqueline Herb (Doug) of Forest Grove, Oregon; Nina Stairs (Richard) of Casper, Wyoming; and Rob Todd (Becky) of Casper, Wyoming. Seven grandchildren and nine great grandchildren. Two sisters, Carolyn Wilson (Don) of Stillwater, Oklahoma; Karen Hudson of Port Orchard, Washington. Two brothers, Lloyd Reese (Mary) of Columbia, South Carolina; Bill Reese (Eda) of Tehachapi, California. One sister-in-law, Celia Reese of Kevil, Kentucky.

Don was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters, and one brother.

Memorial gifts may be offered to First Presbyterian Church, Casper.

Condolences for the family may be left at

Obituary courtesy of Bustard’s Funeral Home.

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