WOOSTER – Dr. James R. Rea, after an honorable battle with Alzheimer?s, ?slipped the surly bonds of earth, reached out his hand and touched the fact of God?..called home for a glorious reunion on Friday January 8, 2010 at Wooster Community Hospital.
The youngest of four children, Jim was born May 4, 1930 in Marion, Ohio to Philip and Grace (Straw) Rea.
Jim was a three-sport letterman, actor, singer and scholar, graduating Marion Harding High School in 1948, and then Otterbein College in 1953. He later earned a Masters Degree from The Ohio State University and a PhD from Ohio University.
Rea worked in Aviation Design at North American Rockwell in Columbus until taking a teaching position at the College of Wooster in 1965. During more than 30 years at the College he served as Chairman of the Speech Department, on many academic committees, and was Director of the Freedlander Speech and Hearing Clinic which provided free speech and audiology services to county residents unable to pay. He was admired and respected by countless students who chose the field of Speech Pathology or Audiology due in part to their relationship to Dr. Rea.
After retirement in 1996, he was a daily visitor to the College golf course where he pursued his primary passion and carried a single digit handicap well into his 70s. He continued to tutor at Pittsburgh Avenue Elementary School until health complications ended his commitment.
Father to five children, he was preceded in death by his youngest, Philip Matthews Rea, who died February 1998 after a courageous battle with Cystic Fibrosis. He is survived by his wife of 19 years, Linda (Snyder) Rea; former wife, Elizabeth Rea, and their four living children: Jean Marie Rea, Ellen (Wesley) Jacobs, Cabot (Heather) Rea, all of Columbus and Carol (Chris) Brown of Memphis, Tennessee; stepdaughter Allyson (Eric) Gray of Shreve. Dr. Rea is also survived by 14 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.
The family will have a private burial with a Memorial and Celebration Service on Saturday January 16 at 3:00 pm at the Westminister Presbyterian Church House on Pine Street in Wooster
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to The College of Wooster, Attn: Sally Patton, for Scholarships in Honor of Dr. James Richard Rea, Wooster, OH 44691
The College of Wooster, Attn: Sally Patton, for Scholarships in Honor of Dr. James Richard Rea, Wooster, OH 44691
Saturday January 16 at 3:00 pm at the Westminister Presbyterian Church House on Pine Street in Wooster