Maynard Fred Reece was born to Waldo and Inez Reece on April 26,1920 in Arnolds Park, Iowa. After graduating from Earlham High School in 1937, he went to Des Moines and began work as an artist for the Iowa Department of History and Archives. Later he accepted a position with Meredith Publishing Company, where he was introduced to Ding Darling, which developed into a lasting friendship. With the outbreak of World War II, he enlisted in the Army in 1942, becoming sergeant in the Signal Corp. On a furlough in October of 1945, he met June Carman who became his wife on April 7, 1946, after his discharge from the Army.
Pursuing his passion for art, he won the prestigious Federal Duck Stamp Competition in 1948, the first of 5 wins (1948, 1951, 1959, 1969, 1971). In 1972, the State of Iowa commissioned him to paint the first Iowa Duck Stamp, which became a contest. He won in 1977 and 1993.
His association with Duck Stamps spans over 60 years. Maynard has painted over 35 designs for federal and state programs.
His work has appeared in numerous national magazines. He has illustrated and authored a number of books including THE WATERFOWL ART OF MAYNARD REECE and THE UPLAND BIRD ART OF MAYNARD REECE. His paintings have been exhibited in museums throughout the United States and Canada.
As an avid outdoorsman and conservationist, Maynard has donated untold amounts of artwork to numerous conservation organizations for fundraising.
Those left to honor his memory include son Mark (Barb) Reece of Des Moines and their son Joseph (Nicole) Spradling and their children Isabel, Tyler, and Eliana; son Brad (Carolyn) Reece of West Des Moines and their children Lynn and Tom; sister-in-law Theresa (Vernon) Reece; nieces Shirley (Bob) Alpers, Charmaine Reece, Melanie (Brad) Mallon; nieces-in-law Sue (Earl) Reece and Jodi Carman (Dennis) Kortsha; nephews Keith (Margaret) Reece, Linn (Dee) Reece, Brian (Karen) Reece, Robert (Dianne) Reece; many great and great-great nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife June, sister and brother-in-law Mildred and Harry Clampitt, brother and sister-in-law Bernnard and Mable Reece, brother Vernon Reece, nephew Earl Reece, nieces Sandy and Charlotte Clampitt, brother and sister in-laws Gene and Geneva Carman.
Achieving the century mark requires a team. To all the doctors, nurses and caregivers at The Iowa Clinic, Unity Point and Deerfield, a big THANK YOU! Dr. Kevin Cunningham and Maureen Belzer RN, how special you are!!
Due to the Covid -19 crisis, there will be a gathering of immediate family only for a graveside service. In safer times, there will be a Celebration of Maynard’s Life...
In lieu of flowers, consider a contribution to the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation in Maynard’s memory.
Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation
505 5th Avenue #4444
Des Moines, IA 50309