RIVERDALE - Major Dan L. Reeder (Ret.), USAF, died of a ruptured aortal aneurysm on Sunday, September 29, 2013.
He was born May 27, 1936 to John C. and Garnet Rock Reeder in Morgan, Utah.
He was the second of six sons.
An only sister passed away just prior to his birth.
Dan's parents moved to Ogden, Utah, where he attended school - graduating from Weber High School in 1954.
His favorite experiences from those years were his membership in Civil Air Patrol and working as a guide at Yellowstone National Park each summer.
Dan loved to fly, and after attending Weber College he went into the Aviation Cadet Program and graduated as a jet pilot and 2nd Lieutenant in Greenville, Mississippi in March 1960.
He then went into helicopter training to become an air rescue pilot.
He was stationed at Wheelus Air Base (Tripoli, Libya); Kunsan Air Force Base (Kunsan, Korea); Moron Air Base (Seville, Spain); Shaw and Myrtle Beach Air Force Bases (both in South Carolina), Tyndall Air Force Base (Panama City, Florida); Hickam Air Force Base (Hawaii); Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base (Thailand); Kirkland Air Force Base (Albuquerque, NM); and Hill Air Force Base (Ogden, Utah).
He was very proud of being a rescue pilot and saved over 250 lives during his career.
He lived by the rescueman's creed "That others may live".
Some of his awards were the Distinguished Flying Cross with two bronze clusters; the Air Medal with four clusters; the Air Force Commendation Medal with one cluster; Combat Readiness Medal with three clusters; Presidential Unit Citation; Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation with clusters; and numerous others.
He was a charter member of the Jolly Green Association (Buff Chapter), member #028.
He was a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Upon entering the Air Force, he was called by Elder Ezra Taft Benson to become a Servicemen's Group Leader for the duration of his military career.
He earned his Master M-Man award.
He served as a Branch President, MIA president, High Priest Group Leader, Stake activities chair, stake and ward choir director, and numerous other callings in various parts of the world.
Dan had a beautiful singing voice and sang solos around the world, performing the tenor solo in "The Messiah" and the lead role in numerous musicals.
On November 28, 1958, he met the love of his life in Vale, Oregon (she was only 15) on a blind date arranged by his best friend.
After a lengthy courtship (over the phone and through letters) they were married for time and all eternity in the Salt Lake Temple on June 28, 1961.
They were married for 52 years and three months.
They had four musical children, who had to audition before gaining admission to the family.
He delighted in having them perform all over the world with him in church programs and ice cream shops and Barbershop Society (SPEBSQSA) programs.
He was known by many people as their favorite "Santa's Helper." Because of his world travels, he was frequently able to greet children in their native tongue.
He was loved by children everywhere, and he loved them.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Sondra and brother Mike.
He is survived by his loving wife, Joan; children: Dani Jo (Scott) Wood of Ogden, David (Ann C.) Reeder of Centerville, John (Christena) Reeder of Farmington, and Garianne (James) Manning of Ogden.
He is also survived by 20 grandchildren (four serving LDS missions in Australia, Indiana, Armenia, and The Philippines) and two great grandchildren.
Also surviving are his brothers John, Patrick, William, and Robert and associated family members.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, October 3rd at 11 a.m. at the Washington Terrace 7th Ward Chapel, 4900 South 300 West.
The family will meet with friends Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m. at Lindquist's Ogden Mortuary, 3408 Washington Blvd. and Thursday from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the church.
Interment, Lindquist's Memorial Gardens of the Wasatch, 1718 Combe Road.
Send condolences to the family at: www.lindquistmortuary.com