Lantana family remembers fireworks victim

A memorial service is slated for Sunday to honor the father of a Lantana resident who was killed Thursday morning during a fireworks explosion at Comanche High School.

Kiwanis Club members were setting up the fireworks display for the 4th of July celebrations – an annual tradition since 1990, when an explosion destroyed the fireworks trailer, according to a local pastor.

Dr. Russell Reynolds, father of Brandon Reynolds of Lantana, was a chiropractor and a licensed pyrotechnician who had been working with the same team to create the annual fireworks display for most of the past 24 years, said Pastor Van Christian of First Baptist Church.

“He was highly trained and certified by the state,” Christian said.

The incident also left several others with injuries, including Larry McKnight, who was taken by CareFlite to Parkland Hospital for treatment of second degree burns to his hands and forearms, Christian said. Several others were injured, treated and released from the Comanche hospital, he added.

Fire officials were not available for comment on Saturday.

The church opened its doors to the community Thursday night for residents who wanted to stop by and pray.

On the Fourth of July, more than 1,000 residents, friends and relatives filled Indian Stadium for a candlelight vigil honoring Dr. Russell Reynolds, Christian said.

“I cannot think of anyone more respected and liked in the community,” he said.

In a note on his Facebook page, Brandon Reynolds said he was at a loss for words at the show of support as friends drove and flew in to pay tribute at the very stadium where his father once coached him. In a tagline to a photo of the field, Brandon Reynolds wrote: “it doesn’t even show the lines of people around the stadium that showed up tonight. Not a dry eye at the field my Dad coached me at.”

A memorial service for Dr. Russell Curtis Reynolds, 51, is set for 2 p.m. Sunday at the First Baptist Church, Christian said.

Dr. Reynolds was born on July 26, 1962, in Knox City, Texas, to Gerald and Nancy (Patterson) Reynolds, according to the Comanche Funeral Home website. On July 31, 1982, he married Sherry Mowrey in Quanah, Texas. Dr. Russell graduated from Quanah High School in Quanah in 1980. He attended Tarrant County Junior College in Fort Worth for his pre-med from 1980 until 1982, and attended Texas Chiropractic College in Pasadena from 1982 until 1985. On Aug. 4, 1986, Dr. Russell Reynolds opened Reynolds Chiropractic Center in Comanche.

Dr. Reynolds was a member of the First Baptist Church of Comanche where he served as a deacon and a Sunday School teacher for many years. He was active in many clubs including the Kiwanis Club of Comanche, Gideons and Comanche Chamber of Commerce where he served as president for two terms. He was honored as Kiwanian of the Year and Comanche Man of the Year. Dr. Reynolds also served as Comanche Youth Council Coach for 20 years. Russell was a member of the Texas Chiropractic Association and the American Chiropractic Association.

He is survived by his wife, Sherry Reynolds of Comanche; his son and daughter-in-law, Megan Reynolds; daughter, Katy Reynolds Pratt of Comanche; parents, Gerald and Nancy Reynolds of Comanche; parents-in-law, Jerry and Shirley Mowrey of Granbury; brother, Rick Reynolds and wife Michelle of Comanche; niece, Stormy Cooper and husband Clay of Dublin; great-nephew, Caden Cooper of Dublin; nephew, Richard Reynolds of Comanche; and nieces, Sarah Ground of Dublin, and Michaela and Rachael Reynolds of Comanche.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to be made to the Russell Reynolds CHS Scholarship Fund. Donations can be made to First Baptist Church, 407 N. Houston St., Comanche, TX 76442.

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