A True Humanitarian Rev. Reed Laid to Rest as Friends, Family Remember His Selflessness, Compassion
Kaplan, Allison, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Allison Kaplan Daily Herald Staff Writer
If Diana was the queen of hearts and Mother Teresa was the saint of the gutters, then Willis Reed was the people's pastor, said Rev. John Strimer at a memorial service Sunday for Elgin's most beloved humanitarian.
Friends and family filled the Herrick Chapel at Judson College, which Reed helped found, to pay tribute to the man who touched the hearts of everyone he met. Reed, the former leader of Elgin's First Baptist Church, died of heart failure late Thursday. He was 80.
Given the shocking events of the past week with the deaths of two women the world holds so dear, making the connection between Princess Diana, Mother Teresa and Reed was inevitable.
"Three very different people died this week," Strimer said. "But they had one thing in common. They all had hearts of compassion. they loved, cared and lived for people."
But in Elgin, it was Reed who walked the halls of St. Joseph and Sherman hospitals every day to bless the sick. It was Reed who never missed a Rotary Club meeting in 50 years. It was Reed who could always be counted on to say "God bless you" to everyone he would meet. And it was Reed who provided the consummate example of how to give selflessly.
"He was a doer," Judson College President James Didier said during a service filled with personal tributes and poignant memories from those who knew Reed best. …