Reed, Chrisley Harden

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Chrisley Harden Reed of Christiansburg passed away May 30, 2019, having lived a full life enjoyed with family and friends, and leaving us with many wonderful memories. He was 94. He was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Christine Thompson Reed.

He is survived by three sons and four grandchildren: Wayne and Diana (deceased) of Nashville, Tenn., their sons Erik (deceased) and Kevin; Gary and Linda of Sacramento, Calif.; Jeff and Tammy of Christiansburg, and their children Caleb, Tanner and Erika.

He was born March 18, 1925, to Chrisley Moler Reed and Bettie Louisa Reed in Copper Valley, Floyd County. His brothers and sister, Lincoln, Harvey and Susie, have all passed on.

He grew up in Copper Valley and graduated from Willis High School in 1942. After graduation he went off to fight in World War II. After entering active service in June 1943, he served with the 567th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion in Europe and fought in France and Germany.

Like many of those in what has become known as “The Greatest Generation,” he didn’t say much about the war when he came home. Even with the few war stories he told, they weren’t about battles. One story was about being on leave in Paris and trying to defend a woman in distress; another was acquiring a chicken from a farm in Germany instead of eating Army rations for dinner. He did talk about hunkering down, freezing in a foxhole one night in the Battle of the Bulge. One of the best sights he remembered came after the war was over — that of the Statue of Liberty as his troop ship entered New York Harbor.

On September 7, 1951, he married Christine Thompson at the home of her parents, Trigg and Lala Thompson in Floyd County. They settled in Christiansburg, where they lived for more than six decades and raised three sons. His activities and interests ranged from hunting, fishing, hiking and water skiing to riding motorcycles, chopping wood and caring for his mother. After working most of his life at Lynchburg Foundry in Radford, he retired in the late 1980s.

He and Christine were longtime members of the Christiansburg Church of Christ, where they established many lifelong friendships. For the past several years, he attended the Laural Hill Church of Christ.

Chris and Christine loved to travel. Myrtle Beach was the summer vacation of choice when their children were young. Later their trips spanned the globe from England to Hawaii, and the Canadian Rockies to Florida’s Disney World. They loved to host family and friends in their home for dinner, cookouts and card games. Reed family reunions were spent in Copper Valley with the highlight a rafting trip with nephews and nieces down the Little River. Christmas was a big deal for him; he loved to see wrapping paper cover the floor after presents had been opened. He wouldn’t allow it to be cleaned up until after a big breakfast.

Some people called him Chris, others called him Harden. To the grandchildren he adored, he was known as Poppy, the person who lavished them with love and special memories.

To Caleb, Poppy was known for being playful and charming. Even in serious situations, he presented a lighter side. He winked at you or stuck out his tongue. He had a natural way of making you laugh.

For Erika, Poppy made her feel special when he told everyone she was his girlfriend. He was kidding, of course. Every time she saw him, he gave her a big hug, held her hand and reminded her she will always be his girlfriend.

To Kevin, Poppy was the epitome of hard work, determination and responsibility. Riding to Copper Valley with Poppy provided the opportunity to ask millions of questions about when Poppy was young, followed by fascinating replies that began “Back in the day …”

He loved taking drives in the country, especially to Copper Valley, Alum Ridge and Mabry’s Mill. He also loved the drive along the rugged coast of California on Highway 1, its steep cliffs providing dramatic views of the Pacific Ocean. In one trip to Floyd County that Tanner will always remember, Poppy was driving slow, admiring the scenery and whistling. Cars were backing up behind them, so he pulled over, let them pass and said: “Life is too short to rush.”

Thank you to Jeff and Tammy for their loving care of him in his later years and to all those at Commonwealth Senior Living, who went beyond the call of duty in their care.

Visitation will be from 1-3 p.m. Sunday at Horne Funeral Home in Christiansburg, and funeral services will begin at 3 p.m