James Edward Reik(1925 - 2014)

Born in Mount Vernon, NY on February 1, 1925, James Edward Reik died from Parkinson's disease at home on April 15, 2014. James is survived by his wife Cynthia their four children and spouses: Deborah (Andrew Levinson) of Brooklyn NY, Jonathan (Jane) of West Hartford, David (Judith Lohman) of Farmington and Constance (Michael Herwood) of West Hartford. In addition, he leaves seven grandchildren: Dr. Margot Dayton (Matthew), Julia Breedon (Simon), Eleanor Levinson, Amanda Levinson, Lindsay Reik, Daniel Herwood and Samuel Levinson. He also leaves three great-grandchildren: Allison and Grace Dayton and Colton Breedon. James was predeceased by his granddaughter Emily Reik in 2009. He was educated in the Bronxville Public Schools, Taft School, Princeton (class of 1949) and Harvard Law School (class of 1952). Between 1943 and 1945, James served in the Army Air Corps and achieved the rank of second lieutenant while learning to pilot B17s and B29s. The war ended before he was sent overseas. In 1950, he married Cynthia Marjorie West whom he had known since he was 12 as his best friend Richard's sister. After he graduated from law school, Cynthia and James lived in Westchester County, NY until 1955 when they relocated to West Hartford. James worked for the Hartford Insurance Group until his retirement in 1985. While he was at the Hartford, he was on the Board of the National Mortgage Bankers Association and became an officer at The Hartford. He also taught Business Law at UConn Business School in the evenings. For two years after his retirement, James was counsel to the State Employees Retirement Board. More recently, James has worked on the census and as a Constable for the Town of East Hartford. Since arriving in the Hartford area, James and Cynthia have been active members of the Hartford Monthly Meeting of Friends. Much of their social life revolved around the Meeting and Quaker Lane Cooperative Nursery School where many of their friends were made. Jim enjoyed sailing, boating, biking and travel. Beginning in the early 1970s, he and Cynthia were part of a group who would bike to Tanglewood each summer for a weekend of music, food and laughter. Originally, they cycled the entire distance but the biking portion of the trip waned through the years. Now there is still a trip, but it is entirely driven. James was part of the "Tanglewood group" as recently as last summer. James had a house on Lake George and spent time there every summer swimming, sailing, boating and exploring with all of the generations of his family including his mother until 2002. Many adventures have been launched from that house and over the years and numerous friends have enjoyed it. From his childhood Shelty, Chief to all of his children and grandchildren's dogs, James was a lifelong dog lover. He walked his daughter's dogs in the West Hartford Reservoir every day until recently. James has been active in the East Hartford community since moving there in 1989. He was a member of the Rotary Club, the East Hartford Democratic Town Committee and was the Harbormaster. A memorial service will be held on May 3. Details of the service will be posted on the Taylor-Modeen website when they are finalized. Donations may be made to either the Hartford Friends Meeting or a .

Funeral Home

Taylor & Modeen Funeral Home
136 South Main Street West Hartford, CT 06107

Published in The Hartford Courant on Apr. 17, 2014