Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Ann Becker Reid, 73, valued education, history

Indian Hill volunteer lobbied legislature

By Rebecca Goodman
The Cincinnati Enquirer

INDIAN HILL - Ann Becker Reid was passionate about education, historic preservation and gardening.

She worked to promote those interests in Greater Cincinnati through activism and volunteerism.

"She and my father were both products of private schools, (but) she felt every kid had a right to a decent public school education," said her daughter, Sally Absher. "We all went through public school, and she felt it was her responsibility if things weren't right to work to change them. And that's what she did."

Mrs. Reid "spent a lot of time driving to Columbus and essentially lobbying the legislature about curriculum issues and high school requirements to make sure that kids were prepared getting to college," her daughter said. "She attended practically every Indian Hill school meeting. Her friends finally called her 'the Nag.' She wrote to the Enquirer to get her opinion out, and a lot of people respected her for that."

Mrs. Reid died early Saturday at her home in Indian Hill after a 21/2-year battle with cancer. She was 73.

Born in Cincinnati in 1930, she graduated from Lotspeich-Hillsdale School (now Seven Hills School) and in 1952 received a bachelor's degree in geology from Smith College in Northampton, Mass.

After a brief stint working for Ashland Oil Co. in San Francisco, she returned home to marry Horace W. "Joe" Reid Jr.

Her pursuits became those of wife, mother and community volunteer.

Mrs. Reid was a member of the Junior League of Cincinnati, the Indian Hill Garden Club, the Smith College Club, the Cincinnati Art Museum and the Indian Hill Episcopal-Presbyterian Church.

A volunteer at Hospice of Cincinnati, "she was one of the visiting lay people," her daughter said. "She would visit people in hospice care that didn't have family or friends in the Cincinnati area."

Mrs. Reid also had a deep sense of history. Through membership in the Cincinnati Preservation Association, she worked to maintain historic landmarks and architecture in the city.

She was preceded in death by her husband in 2002.

In addition to her daughter, survivors include three sons, Jim of Charlotte, N.C., Dan of Houston and Mark of Denver; and eight grandchildren.

A memorial service is 2 p.m. Friday at Indian Hill Episcopal-Presbyterian Church, 6000 Drake Road. The family will receive friends afterward in the church library.

Memorials: Cincinnati Preservation Association, 342 W. Fourth St., Cincinnati, OH 45202-2603.

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