Obituary: George "Pete" Reading
September 17, 2012
Pete Reading left us after a short illness resulting from living a very full life.
Originally, his family moved from Bodie to Wellington, Nev. where Pete spent his early years. They moved to Carson City in the twenties for dad’s employment and local elementary schooling. He graduated from Carson High School in 1938 after being a first-string forward on two state championship basketball teams. He attended the University of Nevada several years noting the hard times while sharing a room with Robert Laxalt. Eventually, his studies were interrupted by the threat of war.
His U.S. Army service saw initial training in Australia to protect the Aussies from the Japanese moving south after raw materials for their war machine. He was ordered to the Solomon Islands, New Guinea and the Philippines where he served as a sergeant in charge of medium to large howitzers. He had many stories regarding the conditions in the jungle faced by the troops and very few were pleasant. Snakes in the water-soaked foxholes were a constant menace. He said the Japanese were barbaric towards their prisoners and wanted us not to forget the sacrifice most of us seem unwilling to pay now.
Returning to the United States at the end of the war, Pete finished his college work with fellow ATO friend Bill Raggio. Upon graduation he started teaching but, quickly left education for more financially rewarding work in the casino industry. Employed by the Nevada Club, he eventually moved to their casino at the north shore of Lake Tahoe. He was very happy there while enjoying his boat and entertaining friends. It was here during the late fifties and early sixties he acquired his taste for fine cars and dining out.
When high school friend Paul Laxalt asked him to go to work with the Gaming Control Board, Pete moved back to Carson City. His years working with Jimmy Olivas as fellow investigators of suspected cheating activity in many Nevada casinos could have been the basis of a very interesting book. They were quite the odd couple! Pete later left the investigation work when Paul Laxalt opened the beautiful Ormsby House in 1972 and began work as the keno manager. Here he met dear friends Jill Calkins and Penny Hampton working as his keno writers.
After more than twenty years with the Ormsby House Pete retired from gaming. He chose to follow his favorite San Francisco 49’ers and do intensive study of the NFL draft candidates each year. He was quite an expert on who did what and where they came from. His good memory carried a multitude of football statistics to his last day. Friend Ron Sheppard asked Pete to serve as an assistant while opening up the previous French Pavilion at Montreal’s World’s Fair to be the new Casino de Montreal. It turned out to be a most impressive gaming establishment and great adventure. This break from retirement was a most appreciated experience.
Pete enjoyed his pets and was a very compassionate cat and dog lover. He requested no services and asked we each remember him in our own way.