Skip to content



Harley Edward Reece, age 88, of Las Cruces, New Mexico left this world on April 30, 2022 after suffering a heart attack in Peoria, Arizona.

Harley was born in Milan, Missouri on June 28, 1933. He graduated from Milan High School in 1951. Following his love for travel, Harley enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and then pursued a 25-year career with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). As an air traffic controller, he was instrumental in the implementation of computerized air traffic control, providing training to air traffic controllers throughout the country. During this time, Harley and his wife of 28 years, Voncile Nolin Reece, and their daughters lived in Phenix City, Alabama, Memphis, Tennessee, Fernandina Beach, Florida, Atlantic City, New Jersey, Fremont, California, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and Germantown, Tennessee.

Upon his retirement from the FAA, Harley and his family returned to Milan, Missouri. He owned and operated Leewood Manor Nursing Home and Leewood Home Health Care. In 1984, he married Marilyn K. Reece who preceded him in death. Harley traveled between his home in Milan, Missouri and a home in Destin, Florida for a number of years. Harley loved to quail hunt. His friends in Milan and family have shared many stories of quail hunting with Harley and the bird dogs.

In 1991, Harley moved to Destin, Florida where he lived for nearly 30 years. He loved the ocean views and brilliant sunsets and kept his days full golfing, fishing, boating, and trap shooting with friends and family. Harley was an avid recreational traveler. His travels included driving his RV across the United States and Canada through which he made lasting friendships; touring Europe; cruising the Caribbean; and sail-fishing and zip-lining in Costa Rica at age 82. He shared his love for travel with the entire family. Memories of days at the pool, on the beach, snorkeling, and walking through Paris with Grandpa will remain with us forever.

In 2020, Harley moved to Las Cruces, New Mexico where he actively began his final chapter. He continued to shoot trap and learned how to shoot skeet. He enjoyed meeting new people and making friends at the shooting club. Harley remained fond of traveling and continued to travel to visit his children and grandchildren. Much like he loved the ocean, Harley grew to love the mountain views and sunsets in Las Cruces. More importantly, he enjoyed being able to enjoy his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Harley enjoyed playing chess, and taught his grandson and great-grandson how to play. His great-grandson qualified to compete in the University Interscholastic League as a third- grader, using a defensive strategy that Grandpa Harley taught him.

Endearing memories of Harley continue with those he leaves behind: Three daughters, Janice Morehead, Ginger Dickson, and Angela Packham; Two sons-in-law, Ike Morehead and Kelly Dickson; Three grandchildren, Melody Dickson Truitt (husband, Elijah Truitt), Heather Nicole Rardon, and Reece Dickson; Five great-grandchildren, Taylor Brown, Blandon Flores, Maddox Truitt, Mason Truitt, Sabastian Grant, and Tyler Truitt; and one cousin, Greg Franklin (wife, Stephanie Franklin).

Harley was preceded in death by his mother, Margaret Josephine Reece; his wife, Marilyn K. Reece, his father, Edward Lee Reece, his brother, Donald Dwayne Reece, his granddaughter Rhonda Adkins; his grandson, Geoff Miller; and a daughter, Diane Leslie.

A celebration of life will be held in Peoria, Arizona on June 26, 2022. A private entombment at Oakwood Cemetery will be conducted at a later date. The family requests that contributions to assist Ukraine be made in lieu of flowers.