Nancy Reed has flown a Piper Cub, sailed under the Florida sun, shouted “on guard” while fencing, and raised jumper horses. She was an avid tennis player, writer, and radio disc jockey. She drove an 18-wheeler truck, is a grandmother and recently a great-grandmother, and she’s still studying, learning and embracing exciting new challenges.
Reed is the receptionist at the Milford Senior Center, greeting and assisting members and visitors as they enter the center. She’s living proof that getting older is no excuse for slowing down.
Reed called California her home before arriving in Connecticut. She was a model while earning a living to support her two sons — Matthew and Thomas. Circumstances soon dictated a change of locale and once again she was moving on to another setting and an uncertain future.
Never a woman to stand back from a challenge, Reed assisted in the support of her family while her husband was studying to become a lawyer. During this time, she drove an 18-wheeler truck.
“I didn’t mind climbing up into the driver’s seat, adjusting mirrors, checking tires, pumping gas, and driving and backing up the huge rig during my stay as a driver,” she said. “It helped pay the bills.”
During one part of her life, Reed was a radio broadcaster, enjoying the diversity of the position. While admitting the profession had many drawbacks, she said she enjoyed the trials and the sense of hour-to-hour, day-to-day accomplishments the position offered. Each day as a disc jockey she provided radio entertainment with a variety of music and games.
“But on Sunday I gave my listeners the big band sounds,” Reed said. “Broadcasting was interesting and fun.”
Tennis interested Reed, and in exchange for tennis lessons from her husband, Howard, she taught him the skills of riding jumper horses. Yes, Reed raised these horses and was an experienced, proficient rider as well.
She loved to ski, and with a laugh she described her late husband’s love of a comfortable chair by a roaring fire instead of joining her on the slopes.
There was a point in her life when she and her husband decided to give up the suburban life, sell their home in Litchfield and head for the Florida sun.
After buying a sailboat that served as a home for the couple, Howard sought a position as a school principal at a Florida school. Five years later, the Reeds decided to head north and resettle in the land of seasons once again. This time, Howard decided to give back to those who would benefit most, children. He served as principal of three inner city schools for a number of years.
Tears filled Reed’s eyes as she recalled memories of her past life with her late husband. Within seconds she regained her composure, showing the determination and courage of a woman who has no fear of the future or its challenges.
To add to all the accomplishments this interesting lady has accumulated, Reed has her master’s in ministry degree and is working on her doctorate. She modestly professed her love for this field, and said she is looking forward to preaching. Although Reed admits her life has been full, rich and very rewarding, it is very apparent that she is anticipating even greater rewards by entering the ministry.