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DOWNEY – Gilbert M. Reel passed away unexpectedly on Oct. 7 in Chester, Calif., with his wife by his side. He was 78.
Born on May 9, 1933 in Los Angeles, his family moved to Downey in 1943. After graduating from Downey High School in 1951, he attended Fullerton Junior College for a year before enlisting in the Army, where he served honorably for four years.
Upon his return from the military, he began a 65-year career in the hardwood lumber business working for his father, and later owning and operating, along with his older brother, a business started by his father in 1932 and still operating today in Anaheim and Riverside. He was a longtime member of the LA Hardwood Lumberman’s Association.
In 1961, he married his wife, Meredith, and the couple lived in Downey until the late 70s, when they moved to Huntington Beach. In 1983, they began to build a second home on the Lake Almanor Peninsula, where he had a passion for flying. He became a private pilot and later owned his own plane.
Living up north he began shooting skeet and sporting clays, and became a member of the Westwood Gun Club and Southern Calif. Skeet Association.
He is survived by his wife, Meredith; brother, Don; nieces, Linda Clark, Shirley Cadwell and Doreen Reel; a grandniece, Samantha Cadwell; grandnephews, Danny and Billy Clark; sister-in-law, Beverly Rupel; and her three adult children.
Published: October 13, 2011 – Volume 10 – Issue 26