Reece Middleton, 84, was born on October 5, 1935 in McCaysville, Georgia to Frank and Thelma Middleton and died on Thursday, July 23, 2020 in Shreveport, Louisiana after a brief illness.
Reece was preceded by his parents; two brothers, Frank Middleton, Jr. and George Barton Middleton, mother and father-in-law, Louis and Mary Margaret Boudreaux and brother and sister-in-law, Wilson and Mary Lou Spencer.
He is survived by his wife, Marshall Boudreaux Middleton; two daughters, Lindsey Gehman and husband, Mike and Reece Disney Middleton; two stepchildren, Louis Wallace and wife Camilla and Samantha Lee; sisters-in-law, Margaret Boudreaux and Barbara Middleton; grandchildren, Sarra, Hanna, Nicholas, Gabrielle, Tess, Dakota and wife Bailey, Hannah and Ian; great-granddaughter, Juniper as well as several close first cousins and their families.
Reece was the retired Executive Director of The Louisiana Association on Compulsive Gambling, of which he was co-founder.
He was a 1957 graduate of Davidson College and earned a master’s degree in counseling from Louisiana Tech University in 1993. Reece served his country in the Army as an Artillery Officer and saw active duty in Korea in 1958.
He also served as a reservist and national guardsman, participating in the quelling of the Los Angeles Watts riots of 1965. He left reserve duty with the rank of Captain, Artillery.
After a successful career in sales, he decided to focus on helping others and began a career in counseling and administration in the field of Addiction Recovery. The last eighteen years before retirement were spent specializing in working with compulsive gamblers.
With considerable help from the State of Louisiana and the Gaming Industry, he founded CORE-Center of Recovery, a residential Treatment Center for Gambling Addiction, the Outpatient Gambling Treatment Program and The Louisiana Problem Gamblers Helpline. All services are free to Louisiana residents and the helpline is toll-free to persons in numerous states.
Reece was a former Executive Vice President of the National Council on Problem Gambling, which honored him with the prestigious Herman Goldman Award, now the Msgr. Dunn Award, in 2006.
After retirement he was selected to serve on the Advisory Board of the National Council on Problem Gambling as an Emeritus member.
Reece greatly enjoyed participating in community theatre and performed on stage with many local theatrical groups. He was nominated for several “Times Drama Awards”, winning for the role of Big Daddy in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” in 1995.
Reece also took great pleasure in national and international travel with his wife, Marshall. They enjoyed many of the world’s outstanding sights together, but for Reece none was more special than Gaudi’s Basilica of the Holy Family in Barcelona and Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel in Rome.
He was very active in The Episcopal Church serving as Senior Warden and Vestryman at Church of the Holy Cross, a many-time Convention delegate to the Diocese of Western Louisiana and Deputy to General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church.
He was appointed by the Governor of Louisiana to the Northwest Louisiana Human Services District Board in 2017, serving as Vice-Chairperson. He received the Outstanding Professional Award given by the Louisiana Office for Addictive Disorders in 1999, was a former Rotarian and previous board member of Shreveport Little Theatre and the ShreveportBossier Rescue Mission.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials may be made to the Louisiana Association on Compulsive Gambling, 1325 Barksdale Blvd., Bossier City, LA 71111 or at www.helpforgambling.org or to the charity of the donor’s choice.
The family will hold a private service at Church of the Holy Cross in Shreveport, Louisiana at a later date. Officiating the service will be Father Garrett Boyte joined by Reverend Kenneth W. Paul and Reverend Mary Richard.