DEXTER – William Frederick Reed, 88, died April 10, 2014, at Hibbard Nursing Home in Dover-Foxcroft. He was born in Quincy, MA, September 15, 1925.
Shortly after the end of World War II, he married Margaret Jane Call and over the next fifty years, together they raised a family that included three children. Ginger Reed Hutchins and Dan have three children, Randy, Sam and Rob. Dan is considered another son to Bill and spent many hours caring for him. Buz and Vicki Richardson Reed have two children, Callie and Tim. John and Karen Reed have four children, Alisa Reed Bouchard, Emily, Brittany McCurdy, and Mackenzie McCurdy. Bill (Papa) was proud of his family and was very loving and caring to his three children, nine grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. Muriel Hoyle was a loving friend of Bill’s for many years after the passing of his wife Jane. For forty of those fifty years, Bill and Jane were active business owners in Dexter’s downtown – first with Reed’s Footwear and Clothing, and later adding Reed’s Fashion Center across the street.
Bill recalled as a young boy hauling firewood with his father from their rural Garland farm, their horse and wagon following along lower Spring Street to the grist mill in Dexter. The winters were bitterly cold in those years, and upon departing Dexter to return home, they’d tie off the reins, sing out go to the barn, Jake! Then crawl under a tarp in back to keep warm. When the wagon finally came to a stop, they’d find themselves deposited in front of the barn doors in Garland. Bill was educated at grade schools in Garland and Dexter, at Dexter’s N. H. Fay High School, and graduated from Maine Maritime Academy in 1945 as a member of one of the school’s earliest graduating classes. After serving a number of years in the Merchant Marines, contributing to the war effort by transporting high-octane gasoline, he attended Becker Business School near Boston, MA. Gaining confidence from a short career in the banking industry, he and his wife then settled in Dexter to raise their family and operate their retail businesses.
Given his love of flying and as an avid private pilot, for many years Bill served as Commander of the Civil Air Patrol at Dexter’s Municipal Airport (having been appointed the airport’s first manager). A strong, longtime supporter of the Dexter Historical Society, during that same period he also found time to enjoy his camp and property on Lake Wassookeag, and to remain active in Dexter’s Development Association, the Dexter Club, the Kiwanis Club, and numerous other state and local civic organizations.
Throughout his career, Bill distinguished himself as a leader who loved helping people and businesses to grow and flourish in Dexter and the surrounding area. Upon retiring from business himself (having been named Businessman of the Year), Bill was elected to the Maine State Legislature where he served three terms in Augusta. He worked closely with Senator William S. Cohen (later Secretary of Defense in the Clinton administration), Senators Snowe and Collins, and a number of Maine’s governors. He was very proud of his elected service. The commitment he demonstrated to his constituents is still remembered by those he served.
A warm thank you goes out to the caring staff at Hibbard Nursing Home, Dr. Nancy Driscoll and all who helped to make Bill comfortable over the last couple of years.
A date will be set and made public to celebrate Bill’s life sometime this summer at the time of interment.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Dexter Historical Society, P.O. Box 481, Dexter, ME 04930.
Arrangements by Crosby & Neal, Dexter. For an online guest register, go to www.CrosbyNeal.com.