May 1, 1931 — January 6, 2016
“IF YOU’RE GOING TO BE A BEAR, BE A GRIZZLY!”
Jerry Lee Reynolds went to be with the Lord on Wednesday, January 6, 2016 at the age of 84 after a brief illness and a wonderful, long life here on earth.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 62 years, Dorothy (Morgan) Reynolds; two of his very favorite and much loved daughters, Kim Reynolds-Leal and Trish Peters; his sons-in-law Dean Leal and Doug Peters, with whom he had a special friendship; those who were beyond blessed to be his grandchildren, Aimee and Philip, Dee Dee and Jonathan, Jeff, Brayden, Britton, Brooks, Morgan and Addyson; and five great grandchildren who loved every moment they had with their Great Grandad, Cassidy, Kellan, Canon, Ty and Kale; as well as many other incredible family and friends. He was preceded in death by his favorite oldest daughter, Reyanne Dover; his parents, Elmer “Snow” and Inez (Hooven) Reynolds; and his younger brother, Ronnie Reynolds.
Jerry was born on May 1, 1931 in Holdenville, Oklahoma and lived primarily in Oklahoma and Santa Paula, CA. He grew up in an era of hard work and integrity and was proud of his own work ethic and honesty. After graduating from Santa Paula High School in 1949, he continued to work on drilling rigs which would give him experience for his business venture later in life. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1952 and was proud to serve his country and defend our freedom.
When Jerry met Dorothy Morgan, he thought “she was the prettiest girl in town.” In November 1952, while serving as a Marine, he drove straight from Tennessee to California to propose to her and she said “Yes!”. They were married on May 9, 1953 at the Church of Christ in Santa Paula and he spent the rest of his life by her side. His faithfulness to his wife in good times and in difficult times has been a beautiful example to his family.
After being honorably discharged from the Marines in March of 1954, he went back to working on an oil drilling rig. He continued to work hard to provide for his family eventually working his way up to foreman on the rigs. Although he didn’t have a college degree, Jerry was a smart businessman who wasn’t afraid to work hard and take risks. He took a job in sales and the company relocated his family a couple times finally landing in Bakersfield. Shortly after moving his family to Bakersfield, he started Valley Perforating Co. He enjoyed the challenges of growing his business from the ground up. He was proud to be the owner of Valley Perforating, established on the principles of honesty, fairness, ethics and quality and he cared about each person who worked there.
Regarding his company, Jerry was most grateful for the opportunities his successful business provided. He was an extremely generous man (much of his giving was done in private or anonymously as he didn’t want attention but his family often knew of his generous donations and gifts) and he never said no to anyone in need. He sponsored countless local sports teams, FFA students, scholarships, mission trips and anyone who asked. Even though he was successful without going to a university, he wanted his grandchildren to further their education and generously provided each grandchild with a college trust fund and a first car (so that they could always come see him!).
Jerry loved travel and his family and often combined the two which has left a lifetime of memories for his family. Some of his favorite moments were spirited conversations and time spent with his “Lunch Bunch” and his “adopted son” Greg Dunlap. He never met a stranger and believed in living out his faith as opposed to just talking about it. He will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him.
There will be a celebration of life service at 2 pm on Thursday, January 14, 2016 at Hillcrest Memorial Chapel (9101 Kern Canyon Rd., Bakersfield, 93306). A reception at Petroleum Club (5060 California Ave, Bakersfield, 93309) will immediately follow the service. In lieu of flowers, you may make a donation to the Honor Flight Kern County (honorflightkerncounty.org) as Jerry was a patriotic citizen who loved his country and loved to honor all our veterans who have served so bravely.
The family would like to thank San Joaquin Community Hospital and the many doctors, nurses and staff who treated Jerry as they would treat their own loved one. They especially want to thank Alleece and Suzanne who were a special source of comfort and assistance during the most difficult time.