Claire Jean Reed
February 3, 1930 - April 19, 2017
Known for her cheerful disposition and positive attitude, Claire was often looked up to for her guidance, support, and love for friends in need experiencing difficulties in life. Her firm belief in a personal God, and a curiosity which took her to new experiences throughout the world, well showed that she lived the life she had to the fullest, in spite of many disappointments and setbacks.
Born in 1930 during the depression, of Russian immigrant parents, Timothy and Stenia Ejov, she spent her early years in Englewood, N.J. She proved herself an outstanding student, and subsequently graduated magna cum laude from Houghton College, Houghton, N.Y. Her Liberal Arts degree well prepared her for the years to come, which took her through an early divorce and the unexpected responsibility of assuming full financial support of her family.
Initially working in the Customer’s Security Dept. of the Fidelity-Philadelphia Trust Co. dealing with stocks and bonds, she subsequently became Sales Office Manager for Franklin Electronics Corp, a private firm, which in conjunction with Jet Propulsion Labs, manufactured the high-speed digital printers used to track the first space shuttle flight in stations around the world. Thereafter, she moved on to Temple University as Program Administrator for the Psychiatry Dept., which had just received an unexpected $3 million grant establishing the first Community Mental Health Center in the country. Upon successfully carrying out her duties there she was appointed the first Grants Management Officer for the newly created Temple University Health Sciences Center, breaking the existing “glass ceiling” for women. During this time, in addition to her in-house responsibilities and government/faculty interactions, she developed a computer program for grants administration, which was recognized nationally, became a key player in the formation of the “National Society of Research Administrators”, which included university, industrial and pharmaceutical administrators, all dealing with massive Federal funding; was invited to join the NIH as an ad hoc consultant in evaluating very large program/project grants in universities throughout the country for both the Neurological Diseases and Stroke, and Heart and Lung institutes. After many years in this position, she did a short stint with the Michigan Cancer Foundation as Research Administrator, and was the model for the American Cancer Society’s poster, “How to stop Worrying about Breast Cancer”. She finished her career at Lehigh University, in Bethlehem, Pa. as Assistant Director of the Office of Research, after serving many years as Program Administrator, negotiating grants and contracts for the various Engineering departments, including an experiment on the space shuttle Columbia. She authored a Research Manual on the “Conduct of Research at Lehigh University”, assured compliance of the small animal facility, and wrote a brochure on “Solid State Studies at Lehigh University.”
Over her lifetime Claire has traveled the world, having visited over 50 countries, always curious of other cultures and their history, sharing this with others via travel presentations. Upon retiring in 1989, she met and married the love of her life, Robert P. Reed, a mining engineer at Bethlehem Steel, who predeceased her in 2009. During their 20-year marriage, they traveled extensively both here and abroad, entertained friends at home, where their hospitality was always enjoyed. Both were deacons at the First Presbyterian Church in Bethlehem, Pa. for many years, and without doubt, their Christian faith gave them both, strength throughout their lives. In 1998 they moved to Tucson, AZ, and in 2004 to Keizer, OR to be near family due to Bob’s increasing disability with Lewy Body disease.
Nevertheless, life did not end with Bob’s passing on. True to form, life began again. Realizing at 80 that life was now playing out, Claire fulfilled a life long dream of owning a sport convertible and hence purchased a Mazda Miata M-5, which indeed, has given her a “new” life. Joining the local Miata club she enjoyed rallying with the boys, giving older friends rides, which they claim made them feel young again, and simply having fun. She continued to travel as much as possible until her death, knowing that such stimulation provided much needed social interaction and good conversation. She will be well missed.
She is survived by her daughters, Diane Morris, Salem, OR and Robin Dittmer of Ivins, UT, as well as son-in-law Tom Morris; grandchildren, Kenneth, Casey and Amie Rose, her husband Mike and great grandson; and Nathan, his spouse April and two great granddaughters, Jason with great grandson and Kassandra Dittmer. Claire was also much loved by her step children, Robert Reed III and his wife, Patricia, Amy Reed Link and her spouse, Don, Christina Reed Williams, and her spouse Don, as well as their 8 grandchildren. Throughout her life God has been a comfort and blessing without whom she could not have “made” it, in her words. She will be missed by the many friends and lives she has touched throughout her lifetime, as well as her dinners, for which she is well known.