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During a surprise celebration on November 23, Kathy and Danny Reis were presented with the Carlos Lions Lifetime Achievement Award (1957-2013), Carlos Rod and Gun Club Outstanding Sportsman award, Carlos Fire Department Community Service Award (45 years), Carlos Commercial Club recognition, and a trophy/sculpture from Carstensen’s Repair. (Contributed)

A lifetime of service

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life Alexandria, 56308
Alexandria Minnesota 225 7th Ave E
P.O. Box 549
56308

People like Danny and Kathy Reis of Carlos have kept local small towns going.

Danny, 81, and Kathy, 79, were recently showered with accolades for their contributions to the Carlos community.

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During a celebration on November 23, the couple was honored for their local role in everything from business to baseball. For all they’ve done, the Reises were presented with several note-worthy awards (see inset at lower right).

“They kept the town together for years,” said Gary “Charlie” Brendle, of Carlos. Brendel, a long-time family friend, coordinated the Reis celebration and said he did it to recognize their hard work.

“I don’t know where to start or where to end with all they’ve done,” he said.

ALL THEY’VE DONE Originally from the Fort Ripley area, what brought Danny and Kathy to Carlos back in 1957?

“We saw an ad in the paper for a gas station and garage,” Kathy said.

Danny added, “We had looked at a station in Iowa, a pool hall in Browerville, another gas station down by Hastings…”

“But we looked at this one and it was something we could afford,” Kathy said.

They owned and operated Danny’s Service for 53 years. The couple also owned Danny and Kathy’s Burgers and a Laundromat, and they managed Carlos Hall for many years.

They also raised four boys – Gary, Greg, Douglas and Jeffry. “We always had something for them to do,” Danny said with a smile.

Danny was a charter member of the Carlos Lions, served 45 years on the Carlos Fire Department, played and managed town baseball, served as gambling manager, and from 1957 to 1962, he was the mayor of Carlos.

“I couldn’t have done any of it without her,” he nodded to his wife.

The Reises will celebrate their 59th wedding anniversary in May.

THE CELEBRATION On November 23, Kathy told Danny they were going to Carlos Hall for a Lions spaghetti feed.

“We were walking over and there were a lot of cars there,” Kathy explained. “I said, ‘It looks like they had a good turnout,’ and he said, ‘Yes, and it looks like we’re going to have to wait in line a long time.’ I told him, ‘Oh, I don’t think so.’ ”

As they walked in, the lights flickered on and everyone in the hall, a crowd of at least 200, yelled, “Surprise!”

“He just stood there,” Kathy said laughing.

“I was thinking well, geez, it ain’t neither one of our birthdays yet so they wouldn’t be celebrating that,” he laughed. “I couldn’t figure it out. But when they brought the plaque out, that’s when I figured it out.”

What Kathy didn’t know was that she was in on the honors too. “I guess I was surprised too,” she said.

The crowd of family, friends, neighbors and community members was there to celebrate the Reises and all they’ve done for the Carlos community.

Reflecting on the awards and event, the couple shrugged off credit for their contributions and instead credited the community.

Kathy said, “It’s a very friendly community. If people hadn’t supported us, we couldn’t have done what we did.”

Danny added, “Community is nothing until people get together and work together. You gotta work together. You can’t just live someplace and figure everything is there for you, you gotta be part of it, I’d say.

“When you’re part of something, you’re more involved and when you’re involved, you’ll support it. And we’ve got a great community – I give them 100 percent credit for that.”

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