Michael T. REID

Michael Taylor Reid, retired U.S. Air Force Colonel and former resident of Healdsburg, died Saturday, December 15, 2012 at Spring Lake Village in Santa Rosa. He was 95. Born in Freehold, NJ at his parent's farmhouse, Michael was the son of the late William A. and Hope Forman Reid. As a teenager, he worked on his family's farms in Pennsylvania, where he milked cows, made ice cream, picked strawberries and grew peonies and popcorn. Far into his later years, Mike enjoyed gardening and produced beautiful roses, tomatoes and peaches. His love of peaches was surpassed only by his love of ice cream. Mike attended high school in Oxford, Pennsylvania where he graduated in 1937, voted the best all-around student. He excelled in academics and sports, setting the county track record lasting 15 years. While attending Michigan State College in East Lansing, he lettered in track while developing a love for golf that lasted well into his 80's. Mike joined the Army Air Corps in 1941, beginning his flying career just after graduating from Michigan State with a degree in Agricultural Engineering. He served as a navigator and flew many missions, including 420 hours of combat during World War II; he was awarded several medals, including the Distinguished Flying Cross. After the war, Mike received a regular commission in the Air Force, and was promoted to full Colonel in 1956. While on assignment in Riverside, California, Mike met his first wife, Barbara Switzer. They were married in La Jolla in 1946 and had three daughters. Of many tours, always accompanied by his family, the most memorable for Mike was at Reykjavik, Iceland where he was Air Base Group Commander. He retired in 1968, receiving the Legion of Merit for distinguished service. After military retirement, Mike joined a Master's running circuit and placed in many regional events as well as earning a 3rd in the 400 meter race at the U.S. Nationals. Until the age of 75, he also placed every year in his age group in the Fitch Mountain Foot Race in Healdsburg. In 1976, Mike married his second wife, Joan, whom he met at the church they both attended in southern California. Mike and Joan moved to Healdsburg in 1989. He was active in the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Santa Rosa, inspiring and supporting many other men in their spiritual development. In addition to enjoying life in Sonoma County, he and Joan traveled all over the world, including memorable trips to New Zealand and Alaska. Mike felt a special bond with the slopes of Mount Hood, Oregon; his ashes will be scattered there next summer. Mike is survived by his wife Joan, daughters Rebecca Reid (Joe Robustelli), Amanda Reid, and Robin (Chuck) Horst, granddaughter Briana Robustelli, step-children Leslie Allen, Holly Allen, Jennifer Allen and Andrew Allen (Onie Kriegler), and six step-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his sisters Margaret Reid Ireson and and Emma Reid Thrasher. Mike was naturally a kind and generous "people person" who always displayed an interest in the lives of others. His wisdom, good nature and zest for life will be greatly missed by family and friends. A memorial service will be held at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at 547 Mendocino Avenue, Santa Rosa, California.

Published Online in the Press Democrat from Jan. 1 to Jan. 7, 2013