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Artist Terry Reed Sculpted His Own Legacy

OAKHURST – He was an artist whose work has been called miraculous. Terry Reed was also a father, husband, brother, friend and veteran. Much sadness and perhaps some sense of closure accompanied the announcement this week that the beloved local man reported missing more than a year ago was recently found deceased.

Family says the body of Oakhurst resident and talented exotic wood sculptor Terry Reed, born April 4, 1941, was found on Oct. 20. Identification present at the scene led authorities to run DNA tests which positively identified Reed after his remains were discovered, located on the property surrounding Forest Service Batterson Workstation.

Reed is survived by his daughter, Toni Reed Mikus, grandson Zachary and granddaughter Hunter Mikus, and ex-wife Judy, along with his younger brothers and sisters Jerry, Tamra, Jan, Jeaneen, and Jeff. He was predeceased by his son, Jon Reed.

Born in Riverside, California, Terry was the first child of Jack and Jean Reed. The family moved to the foothills when Terry was still a kid, after his mom spent many summers bringing the children up from the southland to Bass Lake for weeks on end.

He attended school at Oakhurst Elementary and Sierra High with his siblings. Reed was a pipe fitter in the U.S. Navy, according to Judy, and a veteran of war who is said to have served in the Bay of Pigs Invasion in 1961. Many knew him as the friendly butcher at Midway Market, and then as the man behind Terry’s Butcher Shop at Oakhurst Market.

Reed was fascinated with Native American culture and practiced karate. He also possessed a consuming passion for the outdoors, as a man who loved to fish and hunt. His interests were many, yet artwork was his life, says Judy. Whether the internationally recognized artist could be referred to as determined or stubborn, his manzanita carvings, pen and ink drawings and other manifestations of his talent are superb.

Later on in life, Reed’s artistic temperament craved solitude, said family and friends. In declining health, he preferred to be alone.

Reed was reported missing in September 2013, after no one in the family had heard from him in many months. An investigation revealed there had been no activity in his bank account since February of that year. The family says it has been determined that Reed died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Arrangements for a private service have been made with Smith Manor Grace Chapel in Madera. In accordance with his wishes, Reed’s ashes will be scattered privately at an undisclosed location in the high country.

“He was an artist,” says Judy, “always an artist.”

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