Reda grew up in the Checotah area. One summer her family went to work in the onion fields of Idaho. This is where she met a young man from Missouri that would be her future husband, Afton Gilley. He followed Reda back to Oklahoma and asked her to marry him. They were united in marriage on June 30, 1940. Two daughters, Jean and Donna, and three sons, Harvey, Jack, and Dan, were born to this union.
They made their home in Pryor, Oklahoma, for a while and then moved to Alameda, California, where Afton worked in the shipyards. Later they moved to Mountain Grove, Missouri, and bought the old home place of the Gilley family located in Douglas County. Reda milked cows and took care of a large garden while Afton worked as a carpenter.
Reda went to work for Brown Shoe Company when it was in the Masonic Temple and also after the new factory was built. Years later, she went to cosmetology school and received her license. She then opened her own beauty shop. Later, she went to work in the cafeterias for the Mountain Grove school district. She enjoyed her time in this vocation very much and eventually retired.
Following Afton’s passing, Reda moved to Ridgecrest Apartments in Mountain Grove. She enjoyed playing cards with her friends and cherished the friendships of the other tenants.
In 2012, Reda was the first tenant to move in at Country Living Assisted Living in Mountain Grove. She lived there for almost 3½ years. She was happiest when she was playing cards or winning at bingo and receiving the prized chocolate bar. Any time she was away for a few hours she would be known to say, “I’m ready to go home.”
Reda was preceded in death by her husband, Afton Gilley; her mother, Pearl Jenkins; her father, Manuel Jenkins; her sister and brother-in-law, Bob and Helen Thompson; a daughter, Donna Dow; a grandson-in-law, Kenny Ratterree; and a great-grandson, Billy Joe Ratterree.
She is survived by her children, Jean (Jack) Bradshaw of Mountain Grove, Harvey Gilley of Shawnee, Kansas, Jack (Patsy) Gilley of Fair Grove, Missouri, and Dan (Deby) Gilley of Aldrich, Missouri; eight grandchildren, Janet Ratterree of Mountain Grove, Jerry (Britia) Bradshaw of Springfield, Missouri, Angie (Boyd) Abts of Eudora, Kansas, Tammy (Mike) Dohr of Stillwell, Kansas, Brian (Martha) Gilley of Olatha, Kansas, Eric (Anna) Brougher of Richardson, Texas, John (Rhonda) Brougher of Iowa, and Carla Brougher Jordon; a brother, Arlon Jenkins of Claremore, Oklahoma; four step-grandchildren, Mary Payne, Jack Jordan, Sabrina Thiessen, and Levi Blanchett; 23 great-grandchildren; three step-great-grandchildren; ten great-great-grandchildren; one great-great-great-grandchild; numerous nieces and nephews; and a host of other relatives and friends who will dearly miss her.
Visitation was Wednesday, December 23, 2015, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. in Craig-Hurtt Chapel followed with funeral services starting at 2:00. Rev. Jeff Smith served as the officiant. Special songs were “Serenaded By Angels,” “All My Tears,” and “I’ll Fly Away,” provided by Ray Bradley. Pallbearers were Delbert Gilley, Wendell Schrock, Chris Emery, Jerry Bradshaw, Brian Gilley, Trenton Noirfalise, and Ethan Emery. Burial was in Lone Star Cemetery under the direction of Craig-Hurtt Funeral Home.