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Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Robert J. Reese, 90, of Lakeland, Fla., formerly of Crofton, Md., and Lake of the Woods, passed away at his home Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, with his loving family by his side.
Bob is survived by his wife of 67 wonderful years, Vie; his son, Robert J. Reese Jr. (Dorie); daughter Vikki Darling (Mike), daughter Pat Arnesen (Sig); seven grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
Bob spent almost 30 years serving our country in the Air Force. He was a fighter pilot in World War II, assigned to the 405th Fighter Group in England, flying P-47 Thunderbolts from April 1944 to Feb. 28, 1945, when, on his 58th mission, he was shot down and captured by the Germans. He remained a POW until the war ended. He also served during the Korean War as a pilot and an Office of Special Investigations intelligence officer for Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War until his retirement in 1970.
He received 17 medals, including the Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, World War II Victory Medal, French Legion of Honor, and POW Medal.
He was vice president of a large real estate firm in the Washington, D.C., area for 12 years, retiring in 1982. Bob and Vie lived in Maryland, Virginia, and Florida, as snowbirds. In 1992 they moved to Lakeland and became full-time residents in 2005.
Bob was involved in the Knights of Columbus and the ex-POW organization, a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church, a Eucharistic minister and an avid golfer.
A service will be held at
In lieu of flowers, family requests donations be made to Good Shepard Hospice, 320 West Main Street, Lakeland, Fla. 33815.