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James Dolan REID

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James Dolan REID Obituary

REID, James Dolan

James Dolan Reid passed away quietly at home, surrounded by the love of his family, on Sunday, (October 27, 2013). A Professor of Mathematics at Wesleyan University for more than 30 years, Jim retired in 2001, but continued to teach in the spring semester every year. He leaves his beloved wife, Nancy; three devoted children, James, Jr. (Susannah), of Spencer, WV, Margaret, of Barrington, RI, Gerald (Colleen), of Harpswell, ME; and five adoring grandchildren, James Elijah Reid; Claire, Catherine and Erin Reid; and Daniel Reid. Jim leaves a brother, Thomas Reid, in Cleveland, OH. He was predeceased by two sisters, Margaret Dee Reid (Sister Mary Richard) in 2003 and Kathleen Reid in 1930. Sadly, Jim's identical twin brother, Richard Reid, Jr., of Pawling, NY, passed away only nine days before Jim's passing. Jim also leaves 19 nieces and nephews. Born in Augusta, GA, on June 24, 1930, to Richard and Katherine (O'Leary) Reid, Jim moved with his family to New Rochelle in 1940. He graduated from Iona Preparatory High School, where he and his twin brother excelled academically and ran cross country; the twin redheads were known as "The Gold Dust Twins." Their yearbooks record good natured jokes about who was the smart twin, or who was the fast twin. Both brilliant and quick, the two took different paths after high school. Jim received a Bachelor's (1952) and a Master's (1954) in Mathematics from Fordham University, and then spent two years in the U.S. Navy as an electrician aboard the U.S.S. Smalley before pursuing his doctorate at the University of Washington. He earned his Ph.D. in 1960. On the beautiful and unseasonably warm day of January 3, 1959, he married his sweetheart, Anne (Nancy) Donohue, at St. Catharine's Church in Pelham, New York. That was the beginning of a beautiful journey of more than 54 years. From Seattle, Jim and Nancy moved to Syracuse, where he taught at Syracuse University; New Haven, where he held a Postdoctoral Fellowship at Yale University; Amherst, Massachusetts, where he taught at Amherst College, and back to Syracuse, where he taught until 1969. In the summer of 1969, Jim and Nancy and their three children moved to Killingworth, and he began his career at Wesleyan University, where he was extraordinarily dedicated to his students, to his department and to his field of study. In addition to his teaching, Jim's research in Mathematics (Abelian Groups) was internationally admired; he directed fourteen doctoral dissertations and he delivered papers, talks and classes throughout the world over the course of his career, including an appointment as Visiting Professor at University of Wurzburg. While pursuing his career at Wesleyan, Jim was also, in his own words, "a devoted husband, a loving father, and an all-around good guy." He served his community on the Board of Education and was an active member of St. Lawrence Church. In 1991, Jim and Nancy realized their dream of having a place in Maine to spend some months of the year. Later, grandchildren followed, and many wonderful memories were made. Jim's grandchildren loved greeting him in the morning, and he shared with them his love of nature and his good humor. The family dogs all found in Jim a most excellent (and generous) friend, who always saved them something from his meal. In Maine, Jim and Nancy shared a love of the fields around their old farm house, the sunsets over those fields, the goldfinches and hummingbirds that visited their fruit trees and flowers, and the dramatic seascapes nearby. A gentleman and a scholar, a quiet and humble man of infinite kindness, sensitivity and patience, and a man of quick and ready wit, James Dolan Reid was unfailingly courteous and generous in all of his dealings with others. He believed in fairness and tolerance; he practiced loyalty and respect. Jim is deeply and profoundly missed by all of those lucky enough to have known and loved him.
Calling hours will be Wed., Oct. 30, from 4-6 p.m. at Swan Funeral Home, 825 Boston Post Rd. Madison, CT. A Mass of Christian Burial will be Thurs., Oct. 31, at 10 a.m. at St Lawrence Church, 7 Hemlock Dr. Killingworth CT. Burial to follow at Evergreen Cemetery in Killingworth. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Jim's name to either of the following causes, which were very important to Jim, and remain so to his family: The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation or Autism Speaks.

Published in The Hartford Courant on Oct. 29, 2013
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