Reese escorted by fellow firefighters on final journey
From STAFF REPORTS
Newnan firefighters escorted one of their own as he took his final journey Saturday.
Leon “Pete” Reese, 56, served the city for 32 years before his 2009 retirement from the Newnan Fire Department. He died Monday at Piedmont Newnan Hospital.
Reese was the first African-American to retire from the Newnan Fire Department. After graduating from high school, he worked at the Coweta County Recreation Department and Midas Muffler. According to his obituary, his long and distinguished career as a firefighter began when he and a friend decided on a dare to apply for jobs with the fire department.
He may have applied for a job as a firefighter on a dare but Reese’s career was no joke.
“He was one of the best to go into a burning house and get the job done,” said Newnan Fire Department Chief David Whitley, who joined the department when Reese was lead firefighter on his shift. “He was a comfort to have with you on a working fire.”
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The second oldest of five siblings, Reese excelled at athletics and music, especially guitar, according to his obituary. He was a member of the Sensational Righteous Brothers, a praise group which performed at many area churches, and spent time mentoring young people.A sports enthusiast with an “insatiable” love for basketball, according to his obituary, Reese “departed this life for eternal rest...on the basketball court, so benefitting his passion for the sport he loved.”
Reese leaves behind a daughter, two sons and many other family members and friends as well as a place in history and a legacy with the NFD.
“He was one of the best,” Whitley said. “I will miss him.”