GREENFIELD - Robert S. Reid, 87, of Leyden Road, died peacefully Wednesday (4-17-13) at home, with his wife and several of his children by his side. Until the day he died, he remained curious about the world, and he delighted in the activities and accomplishments of his large extended family.
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Bob was born in North Adams on Oct. 18, 1925, the son of Robert and Gladys (Abbott) Reid. He attended schools in Greenfield and was a graduate of Deerfield Academy in 1942. His years at Amherst College, from which he received a degree in business in 1949, were interrupted when he enlisted in the Army. He was a proud and unassuming veteran of WWII.
After graduation, he worked alongside his father at Wilson's Department Store, but was quickly elevated to the role of president and treasurer after his father's untimely death. During the heyday of downtown retailing, he oversaw a workforce of over 200 employees. After he retired in 1990, he kept his commitment to the new president, his son-in-law, Kevin O'Neil, by giving advice only when asked.
In addition to his civic involvement through the store, Bob served as president of the YMCA, where he was an instrumental force on its building committee. He was also on a number of local boards including the Franklin Medical Center, the United Way, the Green River Cemetery, and several local banks. He also served on the building committee for Baystate Franklin Medical Center. Together with his wife, he was a generous, behind-the-scenes philanthropist.
Among his survivors, he leaves his wife of 60 years, the former Marjorie L. Dwelley. He also leaves six children and their partners, including Robert S. Reid III of Greenfield, Catherine A. Reid and Holly Iglesias of Asheville, NC, Arthur D. Reid and Linda Kelley of Bernardston, Elizabeth R. and her husband Kevin J. O'Neil of Greenfield, Douglas H. Reid and Eveline MacDougall of Northfield and Cynthia L. Reid and her husband Jeffrey Spencer of Huntington, VT. His grandchildren include Nathan, Samuel, William and Anna Reid; Brendan, Meghan, Ryan, and Kevin O'Neil; Daniel and Christopher Reid; Chloe Reid; and Helen and Dan Cox. His life was further enriched by their partners, by three great-grandchildren, by two nieces and two nephews, and by four step-grandchildren.
A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, April 20, at 1 p.m. at Second Congregational Church, 16 Court Square, with the Revs. Corey Sanderson and Dennis LeBlanc officiating.
There are no calling hours.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the YMCA Endowment Fund c/o Robert Sunderland, 451 Main St., Greenfield, MA 01301.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Kostanski Funeral Home. Sympathy message available at: www.kostanskifuneralhome.com.
Published in The Recorder on Apr. 19, 2013