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C.F. Reynolds

C.F. Reynolds peacefully passed away at home on Tuesday, December 12, 2023. C.F. was born on a farm near Kinston, Alabama, on February 10, 1939. He grew up in Opp, Alabama and graduated from Opp High School in 1957. He met the love of his life, Joan Moore, at a July 4thpicnic in 1958. They were married on July 1, 1960 and immediately went back to the University of Alabama for his senior year of college.

Upon his graduation in 1961, he and Joan relocated to Fort Walton Beach to begin his career with the Okaloosa County School District. After serving as a math teacher, a bus driver, and an assistant principal, at the age of 29, C.F. was named the principal of the new Fort Walton Beach High School. In August 1969, FWBHS opened its doors and C.F. was instrumental in laying the foundation for excellence that still exists today. C.F. was the Viking principal for 16 years before leaving in 1985 to serve as Deputy Superintendent for Okaloosa County Schools. C.F. retired in 1993, after serving Okaloosa County for 32 years. He continued to serve as a role model, mentor and friend for the Vikings past and present. C.F. truly embodied the motto “Once a Viking, always a Viking.”

After his retirement from the school district, C.F. became Grandad to his precious grandchildren. He made the best bacon, buttered noodles, fried okra, rice & tomato sauce and instant mashed potatoes. He thoroughly enjoyed his role as babysitter, chauffeur, tutor and supporter in all of his grandchildren’s activities. He was an avid fan of the University of Alabama but had learned to throw some support to his Gator loving kids.

C.F. is preceded in death by his parents, H.F. and Ethel Reynolds of Opp, AL; brother, Jack Reynolds of Enterprise, AL; son-in-law, James Dean of Fort Walton Beach and his loving wife of 57 years, Joan. He is survived by his three children, Joni (Steve) Baker, Cliff (Diana) Reynolds and Patti (Ralph) Smallwood; his five grandchildren, Tyler (Jenna) Reynolds of Atlanta, GA, Samantha Reynolds of Nashville, TN, Jessica, Joanna and Michael Dean of Fort Walton Beach. His first great-granddaughter is due to be born on Christmas Eve.  He is also survived by his sister-in-law, Janice Lambert of Opp, AL and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Funeral services will be held on Friday, December 15, at 10:00am at the Mary Esther United Methodist Church located at 703 Miracle Strip Parkway, Mary Esther, Florida. Immediately following the service, the family will receive friends in the Fellowship Hall of the church.  Gifts may be made to the Mary Esther United Methodist Church in memory of C.F. Reynolds by mail (P O Box 846, Mary Esther, FL 32569) or online at


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