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Donald G. Reed, 88, of Cocoa Beach, FL died Friday, May 17, 2013. Born in Kansas City, KS, son of the late Walter Joseph Reed and Jeanette (Fleming) Reed, he was raised in Kansas City and attended the University of Kansas for a year before enlisting in the US Navy in the Aviation V-5 Program.
He graduated from NAS Pensacola as an Ensign, the third youngest officer in the Navy. His squadron, VPB 28, was called to combat duty in the Pacific from 1944 through 1945. He flew over 60 missions as a "Black Cat" pilot in PBM's over the South China Seas to Hong Kong and Formosa, where his squadron sank more enemy ships than any other squadron in WWII. His unit was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for their record. Personally, he earned two Distinguished Flying Crosses, seven Air Medals and Presidential and Navy Unit Citations.
After the war, he reentered the University of Kansas receiving his BA in 1946. He started his engineering career in Chicago with Otis Elevator and held management positions with Booz-Allen & Hamilton and Duff and Phelps among others. He held the position of Commissioner of Hospital and Health Care for the State of Connecticut and had been Managing Director of the Connecticut Development Authority.
Upon retirement, he reopened the Reed Group, Inc. and at the age of 77, he founded Eclipse Services, an Oil Field Services Company, with long-time partner and friend, J.C. Young, where he served as Chairman and Director of Finance.
He leaves his daughter, Barbara Leonard and her husband James of Avon; his son, Donald Reed, Jr. and his wife Dominique of Glenview, IL; grandchildren, Jessica and Patrick Leonard and Brittany and Christina Reed; and his long time companion and best friend, Clara "Bunny" Baur. He was predeceased by his wife, Jeanne Ellen (Messersmith) Reed in 1985.
Services were held in Connecticut and burial with full Military Honors will be in Arlington National Cemetery. A Memorial Service will be held Saturday, June 15, 11 a.m. at Riverside Presbyterian Church, 3400 North Atlantic Avenue, Cocoa Beach, FL.
Contributions may be made to either Gildo Consolini, Post # 3272 VFW, c/o Donald Perreault, 555 Huckleberry Hill Rd., Avon, CT 06001 or the Friends of the Avon Library, 281 Country Club Road, Avon, CT 06001.
For condolences, please visit www.carmonfuneralhome.com.
Carmon Funeral Home & Family Center
301 Country Club Road Avon, CT 06001
Published in FLORIDA TODAY from June 9 to June 14, 2013