Niles Wilbur Reed


(Nov. 22, 2007)

Niles Wilbur Reed, 85, a lifelong resident of Powell and World War II veteran, died unexpectedly Thursday, Nov. 22, of natural causes.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 28, at St. Barbara's Catholic Church.

Wilbur was born Oct. 25, 1922, in Powell to Niles Adrian and Anna Reed. He was raised on the farm that his father homesteaded in 1915. In high school, Wilbur was an FFA member, was elected state FFA vice president in 1940 and was selected as the American Farmer from Wyoming in 1941. At the 1939 Wyoming State Fair, the Angus calf he raised was awarded overall grand champion. In his senior yearbook, he wrote that his life's ambition was to be a successful farmer.

In 1944, Wilbur received his selective service induction notice. He served in the Navy as Motor Machinist's Mate Third Class. In 1945, while attending training at the Great Lakes Naval Station, he met Marianne Francis Kosmider at a USO function. They courted by mail until Wilbur was discharged from the Navy in the spring of 1946. They were married July 20, 1946 in Milwaukee, Wis.

Wilbur attended Colorado State University for two years before returning to Powell in 1948 to farm in partnership with his father. In 1966, he purchased the farm.

Wilbur achieved his goal of becoming a successful farmer. He was in the top ten Powell Valley sugar beet growers for several years and developed a herd of Limousin cattle through artificial insemination. Descendants of those cattle are scattered throughout the Powell Valley today.

Wilbur was an avid farmer. Raising cattle and caring for his family were his life's passion. Wilbur farmed west of Powell on his father's homestead for 35 years. A well-known member of the community, he was involved in church and was on the hospital’s board of directors for many years.

Upon his retirement in 1983, he and his wife Marianne spent their winters in Verde West, Ariz. They had 14 wonderful winters in Verde West before Marianne's failing health

prevented them from traveling. A devoted and loving husband, Wilbur cared for Marianne during her declining years.

He had kept active, enjoying fishing in Yellowstone with his children and participating in various activities offered at the Rocky Mountain Manor, where he lived.

Wilbur was preceded in death by his parents and his dearly beloved wife, Marianne, who died in April 2004.

Wilbur is survived by five children,  Ted (Jan) Reed of Los Alamos, N.M.; Linda (Rick) Brabec of Libby, Mont.; Kathleen (Ray) Brakke of Denver, Colo.; Anthony (Jeanette) Reed of Seattle, Wash.; and Jocelyn Reed of Denver, Colo.; ten grandchildren; eleven great grandchildren; sister, Deloris Good of Powell; and brother, Clarence (Betty) Reed of Powell.

A memorial service will be held at the Rocky Mountain Manor at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov 27. Viewing will be at the Thompson Funeral Home at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 27, followed by a Vigil and Rosary at 7 p.m. Funeral services will be held at

10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 28, at St. Barbara's Catholic Church, followed by burial at Crown Hill Cemetery.