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James "Jellybean" Ben ReynoldsJanuary 10, 1938 ~ April 16, 2017 (age 79)
James Ben Reynolds, 79, affectionatly known as "Jellybean"of Benton Harbor passed away Sunday, April 16, 2017 at the Hanson Hospice Center, Stevensville, MI. Services will be held Saturday, April 29, 2017 at Second Baptist Church, 600 Donald Adkins Dr., Benton Harbor. Visitation at 9am and services at 10am. Burial will take place immediately after service at North Shore Memory Garden, Coloma, MI.
James Ben Reynolds was born on January 10, 1938 in Benton Harbor MI to the union of Robert and Patsy Reynolds. He accepted Christ as His Lord and Savior and was baptized at an early age.
To everyone that knew him, he was affectionately referred to as Jelly Bean. Jelly was an all-around athlete from his early years in the Benton Harbor Area School District and graduated high school in 1956. In 2006, he was inducted into the Benton Harbor City Sports Athletic Hall of Fame. During a recent game in the early part of football season 2016, Jelly was recognized for this accomplishment and received a standing ovation from the crowd. He celebrated his 60th class reunion the same year.
Jelly Bean attended Hillsdale College and was a little All-American in 1959. He set a pass receiving record for Michigan schools. He played for the London Lords before joining the Canadian Ottawa Rough Riders in the 1950’s. He later signed with the Montreal Aloqettes Professional Football team and played with them for 8 years, from 1960 – 1968.
After retiring from football, he taught school in Canada and Detroit before becoming self-employed. Jelly loved life, had a contagious sense of humor and never met a stranger. His love for family and friends was pure and its reach extended throughout his lifetime. Likewise, he was loved by many because to be in his company was to be assured an opportunity for fun and laughter. He was always imparting wisdom by way of simple teachable moments.
He is survived by: two daughters, Denise Gaither of Benton Harbor and April (Steven) Reynolds-Scott of Toronto, Canada; one brother, Dennis (Phyllis) Reynolds, Detroit; 20 grandchildren; 3 great-grandchildren; and a host of special nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. Also cherishing his memory will be his last surviving and special uncle, Rev. Harry F Reynolds, one aunt, Annie B. Reynolds and his best friend of 70 years, Dwight Pete Mitchell. He was preceded in death by one daughter, Renee Reynolds, parents, Robert and Patsy Reynolds, one brother, Robert Lewis Reynolds, and one sister, Delores Reynolds Gavin.