Obituary: Ellen Reid, 1927-2022 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Ellen Reid, 1927-2022 

Literacy champion was devoted to her children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews

Published October 10, 2022 at 6:00 a.m. | Updated October 10, 2022 at 12:52 p.m.

click to enlarge Ellen Reid - COURTESY
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  • Ellen Reid

Ellen Page Reid, who championed adult literacy, delivered breech lambs and embraced friends and family with the same fierce strength and generosity, died at the University of Vermont Medical Center, after a short illness, on September 29, 2022.

Ellen was born in Hyde Park Vt., on May 11, 1927, the daughter of Proctor Hull Page and Sara Smith Page. She grew up in Hyde Park and Burlington and graduated from the University of Vermont. In 1949, she married Howard Driscoll Reid, and they settled in Randolph, Vt., where they raised their four children. Ellen was very involved in the family farm, tending sheep and pigs, and keeping a big garden with all of the canning and preserving that went with it. In the early 1970s, she began working at Central Vermont Adult Basic Education and went back to the University of Vermont to earn a masters' degree in education. Literacy became her passion. She continued to work for Adult Basic Education for a number of years, as a teacher, and then as an administrator. She also served on the Randolph School Board and the board of the town's Kimball Public Library. Once an English major, always an English major, Ellen also edited local news for the White River Valley Herald.

Ellen always made the Reid farm a welcoming place for family and friends and frequently added more pasta to the pot when unexpected guests arrived for meals. Friends and cousins loved spending a weekend or a vacation with Aunt Ellen, even if it involved processing bushels of beans for freezing, splitting winter wood, or ironing a stack of laundry.

She and Driscoll were involved in starting up Pinnacle Ski Ways, a local ski hill in Randolph. Ellen downhill skied until she was in her late 80s. She had many travel adventures, from camping trips in the family Airstream to traveling around the globe with her husband and children. Her curiosity and caring for the people she encountered along the way enriched the lives of everyone involved.

Ellen also loved the family cabin, Pumpkin Rim. She never missed a trip to the pond, loved morning coffee and looking over the fog-bound valley, and hosting gatherings with family and friends on the deck.

She was devoted to her children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and their children, and kept the connections alive by attending weddings and visiting far-flung relatives. She recently delighted in seeing her three great-grandsons, whether in person or on a phone screen.

Ellen lived her last 18 years as part of the Wake Robin community in Shelburne, where she had many friends, took up woodworking and silversmithing and where she is is remembered, in particular, for her welcoming of new residents and years of faithful service providing companionship to residents of Wake Robin's nursing home. She frequently voiced her deep appreciation of the caring staff.

Ellen was predeceased by her husband, H. Driscoll Reid, and her son Proctor Reid. She is survived by her son Stephen Reid and his wife, Judith Irving; her daughters, Jane Ellen and Susan Reid; Proctor's widow LaDawn Naegel; 12 grandchildren and step-grandchildren, six great-grandsons, and numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held in Randolph in the spring of 2023. Arrangements are being handled by Day Funeral home, 4 Franklin St., Randolph, VT. Online condolences may be left at dayfunerals.com.

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