"It's unbelievable how much he contributed," Reese Jr. said.
His sister Karen Reese echoed many of those feelings.
"As a father, he was there so much. He was always there at every point of our lives," she said. "He would work and always be involved with so many things, but he would still take us on vacation spots all over the country. He put us through college. We had lots of family time. He was always available to us. There's so much to tell about him."
Karen also said her father instilled strong values in his children from Day 1. He extended those teachings to people he spoke to on Sundays at church. And just as he was always there for his family, he also found ways to be there for friends. James Warner, one of his closest friends, said he and Reese Sr. would spend Sunday mornings drinking coffee and talking about every topic. More than anything, they talked about how they could make a difference.
The two were heavily involved in the Geater Community Center's Thanksgiving Day Committee. Reese Sr. was charged each year with cutting the turkey and providing food for hundreds of poor and hungry people in Anderson. Warner estimated the committee helped feed about 1,200 in 2012.
Warner said Reese Sr. continued for months to work through his terminal illness.
"He was a good guy. If he told you he was going to help you, he'd help you. And that went for anybody," Warner said. "He helped a lot of people, and he was a good friend to me."
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Funeral services for Mack Reese Sr. Today at noon Anderson Zion Baptist Church, 2008 Louise St. Visitation from 10 a.m. to noon