Tommy Manuel Reed
A beloved husband, father and grandfather passed away Feb. 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, Calif., on June 9, 1913 to Dolly and Manuel Enos. Mildred and Manuel, his siblings, would later follow.
Speaking only Portuguese, he started school at age 7 at an all-boys Jesuit school near his home. Tommy had two childhood passions: baseball and music. He briefly played AAA baseball and went to college on a baseball scholarship. But he let it all go to join Joe Venuti’s band, playing sax for a young singer named Bing Crosly. Tommy had a long, successful career as a bandleader and musician performing with many bands, such as Dick Jurgens and Russ Morgan, before and after the war.
At age 28, he enlisted in the Marine Corps, serving from 1942 to 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 1960s.
Tommy will be remembered for his integrity, talents, loyalty, strong faith, discipline, beautiful heart and unceasing love for his wife of 47 years, Mary Lou, their children, grandchildren and treasured friends whose lives he touched.