January 09, 1925 - May 09, 2016
James R. Reid Sr., age 91, a resident of Willowbrook, IL, went peacefully to be with his Lord and Savior in heaven on May 9, 2016, at The Grove in LaGrange Park. He was born January 9, 1925 in Chicago to Thomas and Clara Reid.
Jim grew up on the Southside of Chicago and graduated from Calumet High School. He served in the U.S. Army during WWII. He was in the 90th Infantry Division (The Tough 'Ombres), 344th Field Artillery, in General George Patton's 3rd Army. He landed on Utah Beach D-Day +1, June 7, 1944. He fought in all 5 major battles of Europe, was wounded at the crossing of the Moselle River, and ended up in Czechoslovakia. He was a recipient of the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and the Good Conduct Medal. On June 7, 2015, he was given the French Legion of Honor Medal (France's highest honor) in a ceremony at Cantigny Park, for his service to defend the freedom of France.
Following his service he graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in Electrical Engineering. He worked for WGN Studios as the original TV Cameraman. Following WGN he was an electrical engineer for Packard Instruments, working his way up to vice-president of sales. After a short stint in FM Radio, he finished his career as CEO of Quick Rotan, an importer of German industrial strength sewing machine motors for the sewn products industry. He retired in 1990. In retirement he was an active member of the 90th Division Association of WWII veterans, serving as president in 1991. In 2001, he became the Executive Secretary/Treasurer of the association, serving until the present. He also served as Treasurer, then President, of the townhouse association where he lived. He also served as President of the master association.
Jim was a leader and a mentor to many. He served as a Boy Scout Leader, Explorer Post Leader as well as a frequent speaker to schools about his WWII experience. Jim was known for his integrity, compassion, generosity, and sense of humor. He was a "people person" who loved interacting with others and making new friends. He worked hard and took care of his employees as few bosses do. If you knew him, you loved him. He was a great cook (his own creations) and could fix most anything.
He is survived by his wife of 25 years, Rhoda; his son, James R. Jr. (Nancy) Reid; granddaughter, Amanda Reid; and several nieces and nephews and great-nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Natalie R. Reid; and his sister, Audrey (Richard) Waterhouse.
He will be greatly missed by many friends including the young men and women he mentored, who have remained life long friends.
A visitation will be held on Tuesday, June 7, 2016 from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. at College Church in Wheaton, with a memorial service to follow at 11:00 a.m.
Interment will be held at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood, IL at a date and time to be determined.
Memorial gifts may be directed to 90th Division Association (www.90thdivisionassociation.org) or the Natalie R. Reid/Wheeler memorial scholarship fund at the University of Missouri Columbia; or College Church of Wheaton.
Family and friends may sign a guest book at hultgrenfh.com. For more information, please call Hultgren Funeral Home at 630-668-0027.