Reta Rose

Obituary of Reta Rae Rose

Reta Rae Rose, 88, of Summerfield, Florida, passed away peacefully on January 17, 2024 in Ocala, Florida. Reta was born December 14, 1935 in Springfield, Ohio, the daughter of William J. and Stella Grauer Reynolds. Reta spent her formative years in Crystal Lakes, Ohio where she grew up with her two brothers. She was a 1954 graduate of Tecumseh High School in New Carlisle, Ohio, and then attended Ohio State University on a full scholastic scholarship, pursuing a degree in education. Years later, she completed her teaching degree at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio while parenting three children. Reta's working life spanned many diverse careers. Reta taught middle school language arts and social studies for ten years in Ohio and Kentucky. After her teaching career, Reta worked as a buyer for a petroleum company and later in executive administration with Clopay Corporation. Reta was then well positioned to work for the Scripps National Spelling Bee, the nation's longest-running educational program, which began in 1925. She was Executive Director of the Bee from 1990 to 1997 and led the focus on the scholastic aspects of the Spelling Bee. In fact, she was instrumental in enhancing the educational applications of the Spelling Bee by creating a "word guide" which grouped words according to their academic disciplines. This program became used in thousands of classrooms across the country. Reta had lots of varied interests. She pursued a private pilot's license in her early 20's. She took summer trips to Europe and the Middle East with her mother, a retired geography teacher. After retirement, Reta enjoyed working in her flower gardens and playing golf with friends. Her love for reading was evident by the fact she often had a good mystery novel close at-hand. Reta was intelligent, kind, and witty and will be missed by so many who loved her. Reta was preceded in death by her parents, William J. and Stella Reynolds, her Father-in-law and Mother-in-law, Millard (Shorty) and Dorothy Rose, her brother, Fred Reynolds, and her grandson, Zach Poland. She was a loving mother to three children and loving wife of 53 years to her husband, Donald "Don" Rose. In addition to her husband, Reta is survived by her brother, Larry Reynolds (Suzy) of College Station, TX; Sister-in-law, Gail Reynolds of Montrose, CO; her three children, Rick (Laura) Hopkins of Cincinnati, OH, Pam (John) Lynch of Indianapolis, IN, and Randy (Erin) Hopkins of Dayton, OH; her five grandchildren, Stephen (Jessica) Hopkins, Thomas Hopkins, Erica (Crosby) Simms, Charlie Jane Hopkins, and Jackson Hopkins; and her great grandchildren, Blake Poland, Autumn Poland, Asher Hopkins, and Emma Simms. The family would like to express a special thank you for the care and compassion shown to Reta and her family by the staff at HCA Florida Ocala Hospital. To share condolences or memories with the family, please visit the funeral home’s website,
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We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Hiers-Baxley Funeral Services - Belleview
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