Wanda Lee Reed, 94, died peacefully on July 21st at Bel-Air Nursing & Rehab Center in Goffstown, New Hampshire.
Wanda was born September 23rd, 1921, in Chicago, Illinois, the daughter of Roy Chester Newton and Maude Kilpatrick, both originally from Oklahoma. Her mother died when she was only two. She and her younger brother, Bud, were raised for many years in the family of their loving aunt and uncle, May and Howard Gregory. When her father remarried, Ruth Watkins, Wanda and Bud returned to their father’s home and spent their teenage years on a farm in Three Rivers, Michigan.
Wanda was a dedicated member of the Four H Club which was led by her stepmother, Ruth. After high school Wanda attended Purdue University where she studied home economics and nutrition and graduated in 1943.
On New Year’s Eve, 1942, Wanda married the love of her life and Purdue classmate, Harry J. Reed, Jr. of West Lafayette, Indiana. They were blessed with 69 years of marriage before Harry passed away in June of 2012.
During World War II, Wanda and Harry moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Wanda taught at a private school in Boston. After the war, they moved to Pleasantville, New York, where Harry worked as an electrical engineer with General Precision Laboratories until 1966. Many of the families of GPL employees lived on the estate where GPL was located and these families became life-long friends of Harry and Wanda.
Wanda and Harry loved the outdoors and took frequent camping trips. One winter they even snowshoed up Mt. Chocorua.
Wanda was a full-time mother for Larry and Sherri. She was the mother who ran Cub Scout dens and Girl Scout troops and opened her home to the neighborhood kids. The family always sat down to a delicious home cooked meal. Years of motherly advice and wisdom were passed down over snacks at her kitchen table.
Harry and Wanda built a summer home at Candlewood Lake in Connecticut doing most of the interior work themselves. Larry and Sherri and their friends spent their summers swimming, fishing and waterskiing under Wanda’s watchful eye.
In 1966 Harry and Wanda moved their family to Concord, New Hampshire. Wanda delighted in gardening, joined the local garden club in East Concord, and spent many happy hours planning and attending to her gardens. She was also an excellent seamstress and made most of her own clothes and her daughter’s clothes. The sewing machine was always humming in their Mountain Road home.
After moving to New Hampshire, they purchased and expanded a cabin on Lake Winnipesaukee in Meredith. Their children and grandchildren were lucky to have summer visits on the lake with their grandparents. Wanda was a bird enthusiast and always amazed her grandchildren with her ability to identify birds and passed on to them her love of loons.
In the late 1970’s, Harry and Wanda moved to Keene, New Hampshire, where Harry worked at Markem Corporation. They planned and built a new home together. Once again the gardens were beautiful. Harry and Wanda joined a local square dance group until Harry’s diagnosis of multiple sclerosis slowed them down.
Over the last eight years Wanda struggled with increasing dementia which unfortunately robbed her of a lifetime of wonderful memories. Despite her illness, the love she showed Harry, her family, and those around her was inspirational.
Wanda is survived her son, Larry Reed, and his wife, Lucretia, of Shelton, Connecticut; her daughter, Sherri Cheney, and her husband, Bob of Bow, New Hampshire; her granddaughter, Megan Schrade and her husband, Scott, of Oxford, Connecticut; her grandsons Tom Reed and his wife, Amanda, of Boulder, Colorado, Patrick Cheney of Concord, New Hampshire, and Sean Cheney and his wife, Megan, of Richardson, Texas; and three great-grandchildren, Luke, Delia and Gwenyth Schrade. The family is excited about another great-grandchild, from Tom and Amanda, due in a few weeks.
Wanda was predeceased by her two brothers, Roy M. Newton (Bud) and Charles Newton.
The Reed and Cheney families would like to thank the dedicated staff at Bel-Air Nursing Home in Goffstown, New Hampshire, for their warm and caring assistance during Wanda’s five years of residence there.
Services will be private. In lieu of flowers those wishing to do so may make donations in her memory to the Alzheimer’s Association at their website www.alz.org.
Arrangements are entrusted to the Bennett Funeral Home of Concord, NH.
Messages of condolence may be offered at www.bennettfuneral.com.