Tuesday, July 12, 2011

In Memoriam - Houck Reasoner (OGH 104)

Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity

Houck W. Reasoner Jr., Arkansas State ’55
Houck W. Reasoner Jr.
Arkansas State ’55 
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 Mississippi.

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 years.

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 history.

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

Order of the Golden Heart Recipient John Stanley, Arkansas ‘64, also contributed to this remembrance.


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