Avalon B. Reece was born October 10, 1927 in Muskogee, Oklahoma to the union of Thomas and Estella (Smith) Reece. Avalon was the youngest of nine children, all preceded her in death with the exception of Thelma Reece Parks of Oklahoma City, OK.
Avalon accepted Christ at a young age at the Rayfield Baptist Church. Avalon graduated at the young age of 16 from Muskogee Manual Training High School in 1944, and from Langston University in 1948. Miss Reece pursued and received a Master's Degree in Music Education from the University of Southern California to name a few colleges in which she attended. She later received a Honorary Doctorate from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa Oklahoma.
Avalon was a distinguished educator for 45 years who contributed outstanding service to students and adults of Muskogee and the State of Oklahoma. Avalon served the Muskogee Public School System in numerous capacities. She was well known for serving as the Manual Training High School Band teacher and director, and recognized for many years as the first and only female band director of any race at the high school level in Oklahoma. Under her leadership the band was renown and many of her students went on to achieve high musical acclaim in Jazz, Pop, and Church music. Miss Reece served as a Manual Training High School counselor from 1967-1970, and continued counseling at the Muskogee High School from 1970, until her retirement in 1993.
In addition to Education, Avalon served in Public Service as a member of the Muskogee City Council. As such, she was the first Black Councilwoman in Oklahoma. In 1980, Avalon was appointed by Governor George Nigh to a nine year term with the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. She served as Chairman of that Board and in December 1987, Regent Reece administered the oath of office to Hans Brisch, PhD, as Chancellor of the State's Public Higher Education System.
Ms. Reece organized and inspired many youth and adult civic and recreational group. Thelma Reece Parks, and sister Avalon established a teacher education scholarship to support Langston University Education Majors aspiring to become professional educators in the State of Oklahoma.
Ms. Reece received many local, state, and national honors, and was a member of numerous professional, civic, and community organizations. Avalon was honored by taking pictures with Jimmy Carter and President George W. Bush.
Avalon opened doors of opportunity for all people. She was an encourager, and often saw in people what they didn't see in themselves. Avalon was a leader and a trailblazer who established a legacy for Muskogee Oklahoma.
We thank God for the Life of Avalon Bobbyette Reece.
Avalon leaves to celebrate her life: her sister Thelma Reece Parks of Oklahoma City OK, nephews and nieces: Walter T. (WT) Reece of Oklahoma City, Brenda Joyce Watson of St. Louis MO, Carolyn Reece Hickman (Ernest) of Middletown OH, Alfred Parks of Hemet, CA, Eddie Parks (Linda) of Murrieta, CA, Agnes Branch (Kenneth) of Colorado Springs, CO, Dia Denise Greens (James) of Fortland, Alabama, Thelma Henderson (Paul) of Hemet, CA, Henry Parks of San Bernardino, CA. Host of great nieces, and nephews, cousins, and friends.
A Celebratory Service will be conducted Saturday, June 10th, 2017, 10:00 a.m., Timothy Baptist Church, 5530 W. Okmulgee Ave., Muskogee, OK; with Rev. Leroy Walker, Sr. delivering the eulogy. Entombment will follow in Memorial Park Mausoleum, Muskogee, OK.
Visitation will be Friday, 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. AKA Sorority will hold Ivies Beyond the Wall ceremony at 6:00 p.m., Precious Memories Chapel (House of Winn Funeral Home & Cremations) 2200 Military Blvd, Muskogee, OK
There will be public viewing at the service on Saturday.
Donations may be made in memory of Avalon B. Reece to: The Martin Luther King Community Center, 300 W. Martin Luther King Street, Muskogee, OK 74401 or
Thelma R. Parks-Avalon Reece Teacher Education Scholarship. Checks made payable to Langston University, Langston Oklahoma 73050.
On line condolence and registry can be expressed at www.houseofwinn.com
The family has been cared for by House of Winn Funeral Home & Cremations.
Published on June 8, 2017