Jesse Reynolds

September 29, 1942 ~ July 8, 2022 (age 79)


Jesse Reynolds was 79 years old when he took his last breath of life on July 8, 2022 at his home in Linden, NJ, while surrounded by his family. 

He was born on September 29, 1942 in Sylvania, GA to the late Mattie Bell Benton and Dessie Runnells.  In reflection, Jesse, affectionately known as “Fat Man”, “Huck”, and “Deddie” had lived a full life.  He and his sister, Virginia spent time going back and forth between Sylvania and Savannah, where their grandmother, Georgia assisted in raising them when young.

Jesse is one of six children:  Sister - Virginia Reed (brother-in-law Walter Reed), Brothers - Donell Benton (sister-in-law Minnie Benton), Melvin Benton (sister-in-law Angela Benton), and  predeceased sister - Euladine and brother – Jerry.  Virginia and Jesse always spent time talking to each other every day.

At an early age, he joined the St. Andrews United Methodist Church.  In 1960, he graduated at the age of 17 from Central High School in Sylvania, GA.  He developed his love for music while playing the drums in the school band.  In between those years, Jesse was no stranger to work.  He started picking cotton at the age of 13, he worked at Kemps grocery store delivering groceries on a bicycle, he washed dishes at a bus station, at 15 he worked for Treado’s Townhouse Restaurant driving a truck (without a license) delivering pecan pies to stores and restaurants, he drove a truck for Savannah Linen, he worked for Dearing Chevrolet Company in the service department, and during the summer he worked in his father’s auto mechanic shop helping to repair cars.  Sometime after high school, Jesse and his homeboys left their town home of Sylvania to stake their claim in New Jersey.  Jesse was drafted into the US Army where he served for two years and went to Vietnam as a mechanic.  Eventually, Jesse landed his career job at the United Parcel Service where he worked his way up to become a local tractor trailer driver, from where he retired in his late 60’s. 

Jesse was a father to four children:  Son - Calvin Hunter (whose mother was Carrie Hunter).  Jesse was happily married in 1965 to Sandria Jones for 17 years where they had three children:  Daughters - Allison Reynolds and Pamela Burns (son-in-law Keith Burns), and Son - Derick Reynolds (daughter-in-law Kristen Reynolds).  

Jesse leaves to cherish his memory six grandchildren:  Curtis Lowery and Mia Burns, Charily Billups and Derick Reynolds Jr., and Elijah and Chrystopher Hunter.  He has two great grandsons: Jace and August Lowery.   He also leaves his special nephew and nieces: Tony, Stephanie and Sheila, as well as a host of other nieces, nephews and cousins.  He also leaves his in-laws:  LaZonnie Broughton, Robin Goolsby, and Darrell Dowling.  He also leaves to cherish his memory his best friend:  Earnest (Slim) Maynor. 

Anyone who knows of Jesse, knows that he loved watching his westerns, loved collecting small model cars, playing his music (Sam Cooke and Temptations), vacationing in Georgia with his family, washing his cars and sporting his vehicles, looking sharp in his attire with a cap to match, eating his sweets, drinking his coffee, and sleeping at the kitchen table.  He also loved to help others in his life.  Jesse will also be remembered for his love of talking non-stop, he was always telling a story.  He will be greatly missed by his family and friends.

Jesse was a man who was greatly loved by his children and grandchildren who became caretakers to him during the last three years of his life.  Allison, Pamela, Derick, Curtis, and Mia did an absolutely wonderful and amazing job in caring for all of the needs of their beloved father and grandfather, Jesse Reynolds.



To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Jesse Reynolds, please visit our floral store.

Memorial Tree
A Memorial Tree was planted for Jesse

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Memorial Service
July 30, 2022

10:30 AM
Smith Funeral Home
455 North Broad Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07208

Video is available for this event

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