BROWNSVILLE, TX. - Michael James Reynolds died Friday, February 26, 2021 at Valley Regional Medical Center in Brownsville, Texas.
Mike was born on July 20, 1950 at Mercy Hospital in Brownsville, Texas to his parents, James Albert Reynolds and Clara Pearl Giles, who preceded him in death. A hearing impairment was recognized at an early age and Mike eventually lost all hearing. Despite this, he graduated from Brownsville High School, class of 1968, at age 17. He earned a B.S. in Secondary Education (for History and Health and Physical Education), and a M.Ed., both from Texas A&I University in Kingsville.
Mike mastered American Sign Language (ASL), completing requirements for Deaf Education certification at Lamar University and Stephen F. Austin University. He worked as a classroom teacher at Corpus Christi State School and Judson ISD, teaching students with multiple disabilities. He taught students who were deaf at Cypress-Fairbanks ISD and at Egly Elementary in Brownsville. Mike was an Adaptive Physical Education teacher/coach at the Texas School for the Deaf (TSD) in Austin and itinerant APE teacher in Brownsville. He also was Supervisor of MHMR programs in Liberty County and Director of a Group Home for Brenham State School.
Mike became a Registered Massage Therapist after studying at Texas Massage Institute in Houston, using his skills to assist adult wheelchair athletes. While serving on the State Special Olympics Committee, he trained volunteers to coach Special Olympics Sports. Always a competitor, against others or himself, he participated in and taught a wide range of sports/fitness activities.
Mike’s favorite place was the beach. He was an excellent swimmer, worked as a lifeguard at A&I, and was a certified lifeguard instructor. Mike’s passion was distance running, he ran in 5Ks, 10Ks and half-marathons for over three decades. He cheered for the Longhorns; some of those football players assisted with his PE classes at TSD. He read extensively with a special interest in Texas History and never lost his connection to the music of the late 60s through early 70s. Mike began writing his poetry as a teenager and also began painting at the same time.
Mike’s enthusiasm for sports and fitness, advocacy for those who had no voice and love of life inspired many, especially his students. His life was an example of overcoming barriers. Mike’s contributions were cut short by diagnoses which left him disabled and took his career and his running from him, but never broke his spirit. Michael James Reynolds contracted pneumonia as a result of our recent freeze/power failure, fought valiantly for days, but never recovered.
He married his wife, Kathy, in 1970 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Brownsville. Mike is survived by his loving wife and by his sister, Jackie.
The family gathered for a private graveside service at Buena Vista Burial Park in Brownsville, Texas, where Mike was laid to rest.
Memories of Mike may be shared at www.darlingmouser.com.
Personalized funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Darling-Mouser Funeral Home at 945 Palm Boulevard in Brownsville, Texas 78520, (956) 546-7111.
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