OGH and Distinguished Alumnus Houck Reasoner has passed away
Gary Bunn, Central Arkansas ‘88
The Fraternity has lost Order of the Golden Heart Recipient (1989) and Distinguished Alumnus (1982) Houck W. Reasoner Jr., Arkansas State ’55, who passed away on Wednesday, July 6, 2011.
There are those people who enter your life and who immediately forge an
indelible impression. These people are not just those who, years later,
you remember and think about the difference they made in your life. They
are the ones who strike you instantly as a person of formidable
presence. Houck Reasoner was such a man.
Houck’s commitment to Sigma Phi Epsilon began as an undergraduate at
Arkansas State, where in 1955 he served as a founding member of the
Arkansas Gamma chapter. He honored his lifetime commitment of
brotherhood for more than half a century, making an impact on SigEp
chapters throughout the South, including Arkansas, Oklahoma and
After graduating from Arkansas State, he served as Lieutenant District
Governor for Arkansas and Mississippi throughout the early '60s. During
that time, he assisted the Arkansas chapter in Fayetteville in raising
funds for their new house on Stadium Drive. In the late '70s, he became
active on the Arkansas State alumni corporation and served as
president for many years until he became district governor for Arkansas
and Oklahoma in the mid '80s.
A man who was always willing to sacrifice for his Fraternity, Houck
helped with hosting the 35th Grand Chapter Conclave in Hot Springs,
Arkansas in 1977, which included organizing the Alumni Banquet held at
the Majestic Lodge on Lake Hamilton. Because the Grand Chapter was on
a limited budget, Houck, his wife Eleanor and good friend John Stanley, Arkansas '64, cooked
and transported over 40 pounds of shrimp to Hot Springs for the alumni
event. This Conclave was one of 20 that Houck attended throughout his
Those who knew Houck would quickly agree that “no” was not a word in his
vocabulary. When others doubted the possibilities, Houck would command,
“By God! Yes, we will!” This determination was evidenced by his
instrumental role in developing housing for the Arkansas State,
Henderson State, Arkansas, and Mississippi chapters.
Perhaps he took the most pride in helping to form the Arkansas Zeta
chapter at a time when Central Arkansas was reluctant to add another
fraternity. It was his dream, his personal mission, to have a chapter at
that university. Houck’s persistence led to the chapter’s chartering in
1988 and was the driving force behind the construction of the Arkansas
Zeta chapter home, the first fraternity house in the university’s
Kreth Koehler, Central Arkansas '92, a founding father of the
Arkansas Zeta chapter, describes Houck as so many others do, “He was the
SigEp that everyone strived to be like. He was a great friend, a
brother and a mentor.” To recognize his impact on Sigma Phi Epsilon and
on countless lives, Houck was named the 104th recipient of the Order of
the Golden Heart. American philosopher William James said, “The greatest
use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.” Our
brother Houck Reasoner spent his life well.
Funeral services in Little Rock, Ark., are set for Tuesday, July 12, at
10:00 a.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church. You can read an obituary and
express your condolences here. Order of the Golden Heart Recipient John Stanley, Arkansas ‘64, also contributed to this remembrance.