James H. Rea


James H. Rea (Jim), age 69, passed away peacefully Monday, Dec. 31, 2018, in Alva, Fla. He was born Aug. 15, 1949, in Terre Haute, Ind.
Jim attended the United States Military Academy West Point, N.Y., and served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. Upon discharge from the Army, he began a banking and finance career in his hometown. In 1973 he married his first wife and began a family. In 1979 he relocated to Boca Raton, Fla., with his wife and three children, where he continued to pursue his career in banking.
Jim later found his calling in optical services and became an optician. Working in the same field, Jim then met the love of his life, Lila Shewmaker. Jim and Lila resided on their Paso Fino Farm in Alva, Fla. He had a passion for animals and he and his wife had many horses on their farm. Besides his love for animals, he enjoyed bowling, cigars and Willie Nelson.
Friends and family all agree Jim had the kindest heart and could always make you laugh with a joke. He was a loving son, brother, husband, father and grandfather who will be deeply missed.
He was preceded in death by his father, James McCelland Rea, in 1974; and his wife, Lila Shewmaker-Rea, in 2015. He is survived by one son, Mathew James Rea (Lisa); and two daughters, Amy Rea-Bryan (Charlie) and Melanie Rea-Maus (Bradley); grandchildren, Summer K. O'Connor, Chace D. Maus and Lexi M. Rea; and nephew, William Dunbar.
He is also survived by his mother, Catherine (Young) Rea-Burkeybyle; two brothers, Robert Rea and William Rea (Jill); and a sister, Cathy Rea-Johnson (Larry).
God has gained a very special angel.
In lieu of flowers, the family would like donations made in Jim and Lila Rea's memory to Special Equestrians Inc., P.O. Box 61528, Fort Myers, FL 33906-1528; or visit:
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Published on January 16, 2019
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