John Harvey Reid - known to his friends as Jack - was born on June 30th, 1944 in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. His parents were Doris Bonnell (Zigler) Reid and William Harvey Reid Jr. They moved to Easton, Maryland when he was in primary school. He graduated from St. Michaels High School, St. Michaels, Maryland in 1962 and attended Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio, where he studied voice. From there he was led to Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, Maryland where he studied Opera under Metropolitan Opera star Francesco Valentino. Although classically trained and well versed in all genres of vocal music, Jack's first love was folk music, cowboy music, Americana-and it was to some version of that he always returned!
Jack's professional career was, as he put it, "just to support my music habit." Jack worked as a shuttle driver for Avis rental car on the East coast, he drove a fuel truck as support to a helicopter crew putting in power lines in the Colorado Rockies, he was Streets Foreman for the City of Steamboat Springs, Colorado and later worked for 13 years as Superintendent of Streets and Fleet Manager for the City of Aspen, Colorado. Following three years as Superintendent of Streets and Solid Waste for the City of Gillette, Wyoming, Jack took a job with Jefferson County, Washington as County Roads Boss in 2007 and was with Jefferson County until his retirement in 2012.
Jack and his wife Debbie were both singers, and that is how they found each other, singing as a duet. Wherever the Reid family lived, Jack was involved in music. He directed a community choir in Steamboat Springs, Colorado and church choirs in Aspen, Colorado, Grand Junction, Colorado and at First Presbyterian Church of Port Townsend, Washington. He was involved in live theater, doing everything from melodrama to opera to musicals. He sang with bands, and as a solo and duo act, and he hosted Open Mic everywhere he went. Upon moving to Port Townsend Jack was the host at the famous UPSTAGE Open Mic until it closed in 2013, and then hosted Open Mic every Monday at the Cellar Door until he could no more. It was Jack's wish to bring people and music together everywhere he went. He loved the Port Townsend music community with all his heart. Jack aspired to truly live his mantra "be kind to yourselves and each other."
Jack passed away at home in Port Townsend, on February 11, 2021 after more than a year of receiving wonderful care through Hospice. His parents preceded him in death. Jack is survived by Debbie, his beloved wife of 33 years, and his children Sara (John Whaley) of Fairfax, VA, along with two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, Lisa (Ted Kreh), of Goldvein, VA, Jessica (Sophie Mortensen) of Ballard, WA, Emily (Mitch Thomas) of Port Townsend, WA and John (Danica Howes) of Port Townsend, WA as well as his brother Peter Reid of Baltimore, Maryland.
Donations may be made in his name to The Hospice Foundation for Jefferson Healthcare.
A celebration of life will be planned for a time in the future when all may sing and play music and carry his spirit forward together.
Published in Peninsula Daily News on Feb. 28, 2021.