Walter J. Reeder was born in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, on September 2, 1930, the son of Harmon and Ruth Reeder. He lived there for seventeen years before moving to Oregon. Marcia Seeber Reeder was born in Sisseton, South Dakota, on October 31, 1933, to Deloris and Mark Seeber. She and her family moved to Salem, Oregon, when she was four. Walt and Marcia met in 1953 while students at Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon. Marcia graduated in 1955 with a degree in languages and mathematics, and Walt finished a year later with a degree in business administration. They were married in January of 1955 in Salem and raised four children: Randi, born February 25, 1956; Brian, born May 10, 1957; Maureen, born March 24, 1959; and Alyson, born July 27, 1960.
Marcia taught at Philomath High School for twenty-four years, then for six years she served as an academic counselor at the school. She retired in June of 1993. Walt first took an accounting job in Oregon State University’s business office; soon after he was hired as the university’s budget officer. After seven years, he became the business manager of the Memorial Union and Student Activities and was actively involved in assisting student groups with their plans and activities.
Walt’s history of involvement with community groups and youth include sitting on the boards of the Children’s Farm Home and Student Volunteer Services at OSU. He also served as president of the Friends of the Old Mill Center. His long association with the Corvallis Rotary Club includes nine years as secretary/treasurer and a year as president during 1985 and 1986. Rotary fit in perfectly with Walt’s interests because of its work with youth. One of his favorite Rotary projects has been working with Rotary’s Youth Exchange, a high school foreign exchange program. Walt and Marcia hosted exchange students, and Walt has also served as a counselor for Rotary Exchange students in Corvallis, acting as a liaison between exchange students and his Rotary Club.
During their retirement, Walt and Marcia split their time between community service, family activities, and travel. They volunteered with the Corvallis–Benton County Public Library Foundation, Corvallis-OSU Symphony Society, Timberhill Racquet Club board of directors, and Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance.
During her years at Philomath High, Marcia noticed that students’ dental care needs were not always being met. She also knew about projects sponsored by the Assistance League: a dental clinic staffed by volunteer doctors and the distribution of dental care packets for all sixth graders. Marcia and Walt established this fund to provide better dental health for the youth of Benton County. The Reeders have been delighted to see that the annual distributions from the fund have made a difference. “We get the nicest cards,” Marcia explained. “Our contribution enabled the dental program of the Assistance League expand their program in ways they couldn’t before.” Walt said he is pleased that BCF continues to accomplish a lot of the goals of its founders. “It’s doing an awful lot of good in the community,” he said.
Walter J. Reeder passed away at home on Friday, July 24, 2009. He is remembered fondly by many.