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Ben Reid


1942 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Ben Reid Obituary
Ben Reid

Scottsdale - lt is with a heavy heart that I announce the passing of Ben R. Reid. Ben was born on March 9, 1942 in South Bend, Indiana. He passed quietly on February 21, 2018. just shy of his 76th birthday. He was the first child of Ben Raymond Reid and Pat Holien Reid. He is survived by his sister, Veronica Allington of Vancouver, Washington. He grew up in Phoenix and was a graduate of Brophy Prep, Phoenix College and Arizona State University. He was predeceased by his parents and his wife, Carol. Ben never remarried after Carol's passing but shared housekeeping and a home with his good friend Leonard Peete. After Ben suffered a stroke in 2011, Leonard became his caretaker as well. Ben was defined by his friends as "Unique". He participated in two different worlds during his life. These two worlds did not interface until his Celebration of Life at the Game Depot, where they became acquainted with one another and discovered just how unique Ben was. He worked at Channel 10 for 40 years, technically as a cameraman, but he was so much more. He was described as one of the old Fresnel lamps in the old Channel 10 studios that has burned out and can never be replaced. lf you did a local commercial in the mid sixty's, seventy's, and early eighty's Ben Reid was probably your lighting director and art director. Ben always had the vision of how to put a video together. Director, set designer, set construction, heavy duty sewing, lighting director, mechanical/optical special effects, modeling, and artist. Ben could do it all. He was a quiet, patient, giving man. Slow to anger and someone that could be trusted. He wasn't the face of KOOL but he was part of the glue that held the place together. He was an early science fiction/fantasy costume fanatic and a gamer before the advent of computers. Ben never used a ruler to measure from the studio walls when he put up a regular commercial set like the old Lou Grubb Chevy living room set. He would use his shoes heel and toe to measure the distance. Ten "Ben's foots" was a usual measurement. One day Ben bought a new larger pair of shoes on sale. Things never quite fit in old KOOL Studio B again. Ben was never classified as athletic, but he had started at an early age practicing to be Batman and learning how to walk on a chain strung between two posts, Batman was his favorite character. He brought those skills with him to the KOOL studios, climbing adroitly up 20 foot ladders and hanging off the lighting grid to adjust a light to his exact liking. He was particular about many things. Ben had specific ideas on what he thought was good food; A McDonald's hamburger, ketchup and pickle only. He liked his French fries, crisp and fresh with plenty of salt. He was notorious for demanding that his food be exactly to his specifications, Hostess Twinkies were ok too. Waffles with every well individually filled with syrup. Bacon crisp enough to hold straight out. Dairy Queen hot fudge sundaes and Butter Pecan ice cream were two of his favorite foods. A picky eater was the polite description. When they kill the lights in what is now Studio A at KSAZ Fox 10, (originally a bowling alley) in the quiet, you can still hear the sound of the bowling pins falling and feel the spirit of Ben Reid looking up at the lighting grid. ln the gaming group, which Ben was a member of for 35 years where Ben was the elder statesman, the founding father, the beloved mentor. He was always there to help and uplift with a great story or a wonderful collectible. Ben was a member of Fandom from before most of us were born. He collected Batman, Detective, Wonder Woman, and Superman in an age before it was considered chic to be a comic geek. He appreciated all forms of fandom, science fiction, fantasy, art, movies, animation, comics, television, and gaming. He was, in short, a master fan-boy geek with a collection that would have rivaled some of the best collections of fan memorabilia in the southwest if not the United states. He managed to collect over 25,000 comic books. He has even won awards from his cosplay at the 1979 Worldcon here in Phoenix, Who can forget the 10 foot tall with Ben on three foot stilts, his homemade Minotaur? He was into special effects and home made movies; where all of his cousins were his actors, along with himself. He honed his special effects, lighting and directing skills at an early age. He was a man who was ahead of his time, but made all of us the richer for having shared in his magic. He was one of a kind and will be sorely missed.
Published in The Arizona Republic on Mar. 29, 2018
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