John Reed, Jr. - Helped Build First Little League Field in La Mesa

A member of the Lions Club in La Mesa for many years, John regularly found himself a contributor to charitable causes.

John Berry Reed, Jr. (or JB to many) who was responsible for helping build the first Little League baseball field in La Mesa died on Sunday.

Born Sept. 6, 1917 in a little farmhouse in Middleburg City near Blanchard, Oklahoma to Ida Mae and John Reed, Sr., John died of natural causes at the age of 95. He was preceded in death by his wife of 66 years, Myrlene Jeter, whom he married on Dec. 13, 1937. He cared for Myrlene, who suffered from Alzheimers's Disease, before her death in 2004.

After visiting with son Michael on Sunday morning, he ate lunch, said goodbye to his caregiver, fell asleep and passed under the loving care of the staff at Monte Vista Village, who watched over him the last two years of his time here on earth.

John moved his family to San Diego in 1941 and was a prominent general building contractor in San Diego from 1949-1978 having built numerous homes, churches and office buildings throughout the county.  As a building contractor, he constructed or remodeled several fraternity/sorority houses at SDSU and in consideration of his work on the Lambda Chi Alpha house, and the brotherhood’s love and appreciation of him, he was inducted as an Honorary Member of Lambda Chi Alpha.

John concluded his career as a contractor by acting as a Special Inspector for the City of La Mesa on the La Mesa Springs project.

John served for a short time in the U.S. Navy and was in Okinawa during World War II, where he served with the SeaBees, helping to rebuild the island after the Battle of Okinawa.

Having played baseball as a young man in Oklahoma he was a strong supporter of youth baseball in La Mesa and helped to build the city’s first Little League baseball field and sponsoring several teams through the years while serving on the Board of Directors of Boys Baseball in America. 

A member of the Lions Club in La Mesa for many years, John regularly found himself a contributor to charitable causes. He was a devout Christian worshiping with the Church of Christ for the past 70 years. 

John’s love of baseball caused him to be a devoted San Diego Padres fan since their years as a minor league team. He had fond memories of old Lane Field where he watched with his sons the Padres win the PCL Championship.

He loved to travel and spent 20 years after his retirement traveling with Myrlene in their motorhome throughout America and from Canada to the Yucatán Peninsula. His travels with Myrlene took him to Europe and as far away as China.  Some of his greatest memories where from his time “on the road” with his grandchildren. After Myrlene’s passing, he continued to travel with his beloved niece Joyce Amick on a cruise to Alaska and a river cruise in Europe. 

John loved golf and played on a regular basis until his 92nd birthday.  He often talked of his experience playing St. Andrews and other courses in Scotland.

He is survived by sons Michael and Terry (wife Jane), grandchildren Nathan, Robyn Eddy, Russell, Christopher and five great-grandchildren. The fifth of seven children, John was the last survivor of his generation.

Services will be held on Monday, Jan. 14, at 2:30 p.m. at El Camino Memorial, 3953 Imperial Ave., with internment immediately following at Cypress View Mausoleum.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to The John B. Reed Charitable Fund mailed to:

Schwab Charitable
P.O. Box 628298
Orlando, FL 32862

Donations can also be made to two charities John supported: Habitat for Humanity San Diego Chapter or The George G. Glenner Alzheimer's Family Center in San Diego.

For more information, contact his son, Michael, at jmichael3234@cox.net.


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