LILESVILLE — Officials have identified a man who drowned at Blewett Falls over the weekend as Harold Calvin Reese.
Rodney Diggs, director of Anson County Emergency Services, confirmed Reese’s identity on Wednesday morning.
Reese, 64, of Laurinburg, drowned Sunday evening when he left his pontoon to swim at the Lilesville lake at about 5 p.m.
He had only been swimming for about five minutes when he went into distress, according to Diggs.
A call made to 911 shortly after Reese disappeared under the water described other boaters helping the family to search for the victim while they waited for rescue services to arrive.
The caller said that Reese’s wife threw him two life jackets, but that Reese was unable to make it to the flotation devices.
“His wife said he jumped in the water and he was going to swim, but the current got strong and he started — he jumped off a pontoon — and he started struggling, so she threw a life jacket and he couldn’t get to it,” the caller said.
Diggs said he did not believe that an autopsy would be performed.
Reese’s obituary describes him as a Hamlet native and a member of East Laurinburg Baptist Church.
“He enjoyed fishing, golfing and truly loved playing with his grandchildren,” his obituary reads. “He will be remembered as a loving husband, father, grandpa, brother, uncle and friend.”
Bobby Luther, Reese’s son-in-law, is married to Reese’s daughter, Tammy. They also live in Laurinburg.
He said the family requests donations be made to help cover the funeral expenses, though he was unsure of the final bill amount as of Wednesday afternoon.
“They didn’t have insurance, so everything would have to come out of pocket,” Luther said.
A memorial service in honor of Reese’s life will be held at 8 p.m. Friday at East Laurinburg Baptist Church, Laurinburg. Visitation will be held from 7 to 8 p.m.
Richard Boles Funeral Service is assisting the family. A representative confirmed that the funeral home is accepting donations on behalf of the family, which requested that donations be given in lieu of flowers.
Richard Boles Funeral Service is located at 13640 Andrew Jackson Highway, Laurinburg. The mailing address is P.O. Box 1913, Laurinbug, NC 28352. To contact the funeral home, call 910-291-0066 or email [email protected]
Reach reporter Imari Scarbrough at 704-994-5471 and follow her on Twitter @ImariScarbrough.