Reed Armin Smalley
Reed “flew west” on Tuesday, October 22, 2019, near his Overland Park home. Reed was born on April 15, 1933 in Albuquerque, NM. He was the only child of Clarence A. and Belva E. (Reed) Smalley. The Smalley family moved to Argentine, KS, in the fall of 1934. Reed began his education at Franklin Grade School followed by Argentine Junior/Senior High School, graduating in the class of 1951. Reed spent many summers working in Argentine for the Santa Fe Rail Road. Reed was a member of the U.S. Coast Guard from 1952 until 1955. Upon his return to Kansas City, Reed married his high school sweetheart, Judy Gates. Entering Kansas University in the fall of 1955, Reed earned a B.S. in Architecture in 1960. Reconsidering his decision of a life-long “desk job,” Reed instead enlisted in the U.S. Naval Air, earning his wings in June 1961 in Pensacola, FL. Reed then transferred to Naval Air Station Norfolk flying Douglas C-118Bs and C-130s. Reed enjoyed his five years of active duty and was honorably discharged in 1965 (He flew an additional 18 years in the U.S. Naval Air Reserves, retiring with the rank of Commander USNR). In 1965, he was hired by Trans World Airlines (TWA) and returned to his hometown of Kansas City. Reed loved his 26-year career with TWA and flew as Captain on DC-9s and Boeing 727s before retiring in 1991.
Beginning in 1994, Reed and Judy spent their winters at their home in Venice, FL, as “snow birds,” loving the chance to keep out of the Kansas cold and enjoy the white sand beaches. Reed was active in sports his whole life, playing high school sports along with tennis, handball and racquetball until his early 70s. Model airplane making was his favorite hobby completing three to four airplanes each year. Reed was preceded in death by his parents and wife Judy (2010). Reed has three children: Scott Smalley, Tucson, AZ, Jill Cragg (Michael) Mt. Pleasant, SC, Jennifer Skivers Stilwell, KS (Doug Skivers, Adrian, MO), four grandchildren and one step-grandchild: Victoria, John and Katherine Cragg, Mackie and Gracie Skivers, and two nephews and one niece.
Our family wishes to thank the many family and life-long friends who added joy to dad’s daily life. A Celebration of Life gathering will be planned in early November at the family home. We also wish to thank the outstanding members of the Kansas City Hospice in-home health care system (Cara, Crispian and Leticia in particular), as well as the Kansas City Hospice House - Staff Station A. In lieu of flowers, please send a donation in Reed’s memory to: K.C.Hospice House, 12000 Wornall Road, Kansas City, MO 64145.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Reed Armin Smalley, please visit our floral store.
Kansas City Hospice House
12000 Wornall Road, Kansas City MO 64145