Cover photo for John Allen McReynolds's Obituary
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1944 John Allen McReynolds 2023

John Allen McReynolds

January 29, 1944 — July 26, 2023



John Allen McReynolds of Logan, Utah, died July 26, 2023, at the Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Utah, of complications following a brain hemorrhage on 12 July. Born to Mabel Catherine Kennedy and James Charles McReynolds in Long Beach, Calif., on 29 January 1944, he lived happily and productively to age 79. 

Always a lover of good music, John played clarinet in a jazz band in high school and later with a group of friends in Logan. After trying college for a couple of years following high school, he joined the Air Force in 1964, serving as a weather observer in Thailand and Cape Cod, Mass., until 1971. Back on the streets of Boston as a taxi driver and part-time student, he decided to join the Boston Police Department in 1978.  His career as a police officer included mobile operations; detective work with a special task force in the Attorney Generals office (with Paul Barnicle, Jack OConnell, and Sydney Hanlon); then promotion to Sergeant with the Anti-Gang Violence Unit. He was awarded several commendations as well as a Medal of Honor presented by Bill Bratton in 1992. His service was interrupted by a stroke (TIA) in 1995 that ultimately kept him from returning to work.  As was his nature, he saw this as another opportunity to return to school.  He completed a masters degree in criminology from Northeastern University in Boston in 1998 and started work on a Ph.D.  Teaching outsized freshman criminology classes convinced him it might be time to move along.

He moved with his wife, Leila Shultz, to full-time residence in Utah in the summer of 2002 and started auditing theater classes at Utah State University. When Leila expressed surprise at his choice, John said he had plenty of experience in acting while a police officer. His love of theater and the written word led to many gigs’ at the Pioneer Theater in Perry, the Lyric in Logan, the Black Box and Morgan theaters at USU, then the Little Theater of Bartlesville and the Heritage Theater of Dewey, Oklahoma.  In his spare time, he helped set up the website for the Cache County Democrats and served on boards for CAPSA and the Women’s Center.

John is survived by his wife Leila (married in Concord, Mass., 7 Sep 1992), her daughter, Kirsten Shultz, granddaughter Koko Furlong, and his beloved son-in-law, Drew Furlong.  John’s only sibling, Catherine (Chris) Sweeney, preceded him in death by a single month. Leila and John loved their multiple road trips and drive-by visits” with friends between Boston and Logan, then Logan and Bartlesville, Okla.  John had no children of his own but was and is much loved by sisters-in-law and their partners:  Linda (Dan Martin) Mathews, Lorraine (Gene Reid) McReynolds, Lucy (Darrel) Clark, brother-in-law Chris Sweeney, and twelve beautiful nieces and nephews and their offspring. His sisters daughter Alaina (Shane) McCarthy, included John in a dedication of a memorial garden for his sister in Auburn, Mass., on July 29th. The family will continue to celebrate his life for years to come, always remembering his infectious laugh and sharp wit. We will have a tribute for John sometime in the fall in Logan, Utah, at a place and time to be determined. Shared photos and stories are encouraged.

Special thanks to the extraordinary nursing staff in the Neuro wing of IMC as well as our dear friends and family (you know who you are).  Donations may be made to John’s favorite charities, including our local CAPSA (Citizens Against Physical or Sexual Abuse), Utah Public Radio, or Planned Parenthood.


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