City officials remember Rathbun

REED CITY — Reed City officials are remembering the life of Phillip Rathbun, 78, who passed away at his home on Nov. 27.

Rathbun was a major part of Reed City since 1963, serving as chief of police, city council member, volunteer firefighter, city manager, community corrections officer and more. He moved to the area from Lansing with his wife and raised five daughters.

Many were emotional as they recalled Rathbun, referring to him a friend as well as a fellow supporter of Reed City.

"He was a very good source of history on the city," Danzeisen said. "We relied on him and he really gave it his all."

Reed City Police Chief Chuck Davis got to know Rathbun well throughout the past decade.

"Phil was a great resource to talk to and to hear the stories of the past," Davis said. "I really enjoyed learning from him."

The pair discussed the department's changing procedures and history, and Davis said it is difficult to know he and Rathbun's conversations have ended.

"I'm going to miss talking to him and hearing what he used to do as chief of police," he added.

Rathbun also used his experience to assist others and become a resource.

"He's been invaluable to me, because he was a former council member, a former police chief and a former city manager," said current Reed City Manager Ron Howell.

Due to his past experience, Rathbun understood Howell's position, knew what he was dealing with on an ever day basis and offered encouragement. Rathbun had one year of his term on city council left to serve, he added.

"The city was his life," Howell said. "For me, it was really nice to have him there on council. I'll remember his smile."

Moving forward, Howell said residents of the city can turn in a form of interest to serve on council, and members of council will appoint a new member for Rathbun's remaining year.