Carol Reed, 79, passed away August 17, 2022, at MercyOne Hospice in Johnston, IA. Carol is preceded in death by her parents, Boyd and Annabelle Ethington, and siblings Patricia (Jerry), Marion (Carolyn), and Jack (Karen). She is survived by her husband, Lloyd; children Kenton Mickael (Mary) and Kalina Michelle (Rick); grandkids Richie (Krista), Megan (David), Taylor (Peter) and Elizabeth and her great-grandkids Lilly, Jamie, Connor, Piper, and Rory.
Carol was born on May 3, 1943, in Delphos, Iowa, then moved to a farm just South of Kellerton, IA . She and Lloyd were married November 23, 1957, and shortly after began running a restaurant in Kellerton. In 1961 they moved to Colorado Springs where Carol took a job waitressing in a pancake house. She saved up $400 in tips over just three months and with that money, both of them homesick, she and Lloyd followed Lloyd's brother Leslie home to Iowa as he returned from the service in September of 1961. The two of them settled in Des Moines where Carol worked at Kresges department store. In 1968 she answered a newspaper ad "for people who like math" to take a job as a tax preparer at H&R Block earning "fun money" for her family. She worked there for 33 years before retiring in 2001, holding the company’s title of Top Tax Preparer in the country for many years.
Carol enjoyed camping with Lloyd, Kalina and Kenton, starting with a tent in Jester Park then upgrading to a pick-up camper they took to Sugar Bottom in Coralville, Lake Red Rock and more. In 1971 Carol and Lloyd purchased a lot at Sun Valley Lake near Ellston, Iowa. They have made countless memories at ever since. They recently partook in the 50-Year celebration of Sun Valley Lake as one of very few families that can boast having been there since it’s beginning. One of the many traditions Carol started and kept constant was always having materials to make s'mores over the fire ring. Characteristic to Carol’s savvy nature, she made “cheater” s'mores with fudge stripe cookies and marshmallows to avoid the mess of graham crackers and Hershey bars.
In addition to camping, Carol and her family road thousands of miles on motorcycles. In the late seventies they started the Family Affair Cycle Riders with all of her and Lloyd’s brothers and sisters, and Kalina and Kent riding along.
The group traveled many places including across the border at Brownsville, Texas into Mexico. Carol and Lloyd owned 21 different motorcycles over the years, ending with a 2001 Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic Electra-Glide and a 1988 Softail. In their retirement, Carol and Lloyd owned four different RV's with “home base” locations of Casa Grande and Apache Junction, Arizona. They would leave Iowa the Sunday before Christmas, after celebrating the holiday with their kids' families, and return the 1st of May, usually for their granddaughters' dance recitals. Carol and Lloyd traveled all 48 of the lower states plus Mexico and Canada—first on their motorcycles and again in their motorhomes. They retired from that chapter of retirement in 2018 when they began staying home during the Winter with the solution that, as Lloyd said, "When it's too cold or snowy outside we don't have to go out! We’ll just have neighbor Jim continue shoveling our driveway.” Amidst their years of retirement they were able to sail 12 cruises, including to Alaska and Hawaii. They even took Kent's family along on one cruise to spread the enjoyment to other generations, then took Kalina along on a three-week motorhome trip to see the Red Rocks of the American Southwest to make it even. Carol and Lloyd spent their most recent years of retirement side-by-side at home in their luxury La-Z-Boys watching NASCAR races, NBA basketball games, and many, many movies. Carol, Lloyd, Kalina and Kenton (the “Original Reed Family Four” as Kalina has always called them) have enjoyed countless activities together throughout their lives. The most bonding of them has been their many years of “grave hopping” to decorate 40+ graves of friends and family who had passed, visiting several living loved ones along the way.
A Celebration of Life for Carol will be held Saturday, August 20th at the Ding Darling Shelter House in Birdland Park, Des Moines. The gathering will start at 10:30 am with a short service at 11:30 am and lunch at noon. Carol will be laid to rest at the Van Wert Iowa Cemetery Sunday, September 11th at 1:00 PM with a luncheon to follow at the Van Wert Community Center where family and friends will gather to share stories about this loving mother, grandmother, great grandmother, aunt and dear friend to so many.
Memorial contributions for Carol can be addressed to American Brawn, a charity Kenton established in 2018, at 106 14th Ave., Grinnell, IA 50112, or donations can easily be made at www.americanbrawn.us. Donations will be used to purchase life-saving equipment for first responder departments in Eastern Polk County.