Cover photo for Thomas Max Reber's Obituary
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1944 Thomas 2024

Thomas Max Reber

July 30, 1944 — January 31, 2024

Thomas “Tom” Max Reber of Orange Park, FL passed peacefully at home on January 31, 2024. He was born to Max Reber and Helen Kabelac Reber of Rochester, NY on July 30, 1944. His father Max immigrated from Carlstein, Germany just before WWII via Ellis Island. His mother Helen was of eastern European descent. As a child, Tom’s playground was Mendon Ponds Park, running his wooden raft on the Erie Canal locks, and snow skiing on the local slopes of Mt. Swain. He cherished his childhood adventures. Tom graduated high school from Honeoye Falls N.Y. and attended the University of Louisville KY. The draft interrupted his college career, but he returned to finish at Jones College here in Jacksonville, FL. He worked at Prudential (later Aetna) in downtown Jax and retired after 30 years. Tom was drafted into the US Navy where he served for 4 years as an E5. He was deployed aboard the Carrier Kearsarge to the Gulf of Tonkin in the Vietnam War. He was proud to have served his country. His pride showed one last time while receiving Military Honors at Haven Hospice, where Capt. Leeland saluted him and, unexpectedly, dad found the strength to raise his hand and return the salute. His love of the water started early in life and continued here in the Jacksonville area, cruising the St. Johns River, the Intracoastal Waterway, and fishing the ocean waters. He taught his sons to water ski on McGirts Creek & Doctors Inlet. He lost a few anchors and many fishing hooks in the Jetties Rocks. He loved docking up at Whitey’s Fish Camp for lunch. He was always happiest running the river between here and Palatka, especially with friends and family aboard. Tom was from a generation of Men who were smart and capable. Well-read? Yes. Need to change a tire? No problem. Need to build a barn? He did it 3 times. Need a guy with a chainsaw? Just tell him how he could help. You want to go on an adventure? He’s ready to bareboat charter a sailboat and cruise the clear waters the Bahamas again. He was a Man’s Man who loved a good gin & tonic, cooked on a grill, served a great YellowBird Cocktail to rival that of Mama T’s in the Bahamas, and above all was an excellent Father. He will be remembered most for the love of his family. He is survived by his wife Sandra Folsom Reber, his sons Thomas M. Reber (Lisa) & Robert M. Reber (Heather), his grandsons Max (Jessica), Brent, Cole, & Cooper, his great-grandsons Jackson & Theodore, all who are here in the 9-0-4... Go Jags (Tom & Sandy spent many years in the North End Zone cheering the Jags), and his sister Linda Keyon (Charlie) in Rochester, NY. In lieu of flowers, please donate in his name to Haven Hospice Care Center of Orange Park, FL. Their assistance allowed him to be home where he wanted to be and pass peacefully. You can donate online through this link. A big THANK YOU to all who knew him as a friend and for those (Juanita, Rhonda, and Venus) who helped care for him through his battle with Parkinsons. Memorial Services will be held at Jacksonville National Cemetery at a date to be decided.
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