A beloved husband, father and grandfather passed away on Friday, February 10, 2012. Legendary bandleader Tommy Reed, born Thomas Manuel Enos, died 98 years young surrounded by his family after complications from a broken hip and shoulder. Tommy was born in Valona, California on June 9, 1913 to “Dolly” and Manuel Enos. Mildred and Manuel, his siblings, would later follow. Speaking only Portugese, he started school at 7 at an all boys Jesuit school near his home. Tommy had two childhood passions, baseball and music. He briefly played AAA baseball, went to college on a baseball scholarship but at 19 let it all go to join Joe Venuti’s band playing sax for a young singer named Bing Crosby. Tommy had a long, successful career as a bandleader and musician performing with many name bands such as Dick Jurgens and Russ Morgan, before and after the war, but at 28 he enlisted in the Marine Corps, serving from 1942-1945. He fought in the Pacific Theatre earning a Purple Heart among other honors, for his actions in Tarawa and Guadalcanal. Tommy Reed and his Orchestra were renowned throughout the Valley where they played for many years, and his Southwest Booking Agency was a premier supplier of quality entertainment since the mid 60’s. Tommy will be remembered for his integrity, talents, loyalty, strong faith, discipline, beautiful heart and his unceasing love for his wife of 47 years, and their children. He is survived by his wife, Mary Lou; their seven children; Carla, Lisa, Shanna, Molly, Mari Lou, Carl, Aimee, 14 grandchildren, sister Mildred, and treasured friends whose lives he touched. We can still hear him say, “love what you do, do what you love”, “one day at a time”, and “Semper Fi, buddy”. We will forever miss you Dad, Papa Tom, my dearest love. A Memorial Service will be held Thursday, February 16, 2012 at 1:30 PM at Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home, 4800 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix, AZ. Memorial donation to the Disabled American Veterans, 3333 N. Central Ave. Suite 1053, Phoenix, AZ 85021
I have been sitting here trying to think of something to say that would make the loss of your husbsnd, father and grandfather be less a burden. I know Tommy will be missed by all, even though I didnot know Tommy very well, the few times that I met Tommy I could tell he was a very stand up man. Please accept my condolence’s and prayers. Ted Carpenter
Lee and Wanda Baxter
Lee would like the family to know he sends his condolences. He worked with Tommy Reed for many years as his first trombone player.
George (Buster) Burt
It’s been a long time since I knew tommy, 1946. He was forming a band to play at Rio Nido, CA.. It was a very good band, mostly Marines I think, and fortunately he took a chance on hiring this 16 yr old tenor player, me, to join them. I had played a lot before that but this was my first real job. Tommy treated me professionally but looking back I think he kind of looked after me. The band had a terrific sound, the guys were tremendous players, friendly and fun. I was thrilled to be a small part of it and I will always be grateful for that opportunity. Tommy, of course., brought the whole thing together. Even though I haven’t seen him for these many years, I’m saddened to hear that he has passed on. When I knew him, I thought he was indestructible.
Joseph A. Bagnall
Tommy Reed and his orchestra. I am quite certain that this is the band that I saw at the Rainbow Rendezvous in Salt Lake City in the late part of 1946 or early part of 1947..
My date and I enjoyed the evening immensely and loved the orchestra. I remember a tune called My Shawl, I remember an outstanding drummer. I remember that he played there for about a month afterward, and I tuned in each night on KSL radio to hear the broadcast of his band. He was superb. I wish I could experience it all again. I am in my 85th year, but I remember it well.
If you can—-please tell me if I have identified the right Tommy Reed and his orchestra.
My sincere sympathy
Dr. Joseph A. Bagnall