DVM Alumni - In the News

Richard Dean Reid ('53 DVM) - April 7, 2020

Aug 14, 2020

Richard Dean Reid ('53 DVM) - April 7, 2020

If you’ve ever felt compelled to forfeit your sleep in order to deliver a calf at 2:00 a.m., or set a cat’s broken leg hours after a full day of work, or perhaps, console a grieving family after the passing of their family dog, then you’d know more about Dr. Richard Reid.

After trading their house for a new car (during the Great Depression in 1934) in Irene, South Dakota, Dr. Dick’s parents moved their three young sons out to the Willamette Valley to set up their new lives in Albany. Dick and his two brothers, Bob and Roger, attended school at Central Elementary and Albany High School (when they weren’t out doing constructive things like making faces at girls and throwing rocks at stuff).

As a kid, Dick went on many farm calls with his dad. He met many farmers but only one farmer’s daughter, Jeannette Reiley from Crabtree. After dating in high school and college, they were married in 1948 and their love affair never ended. Richard attended Willamette University and Washington State University where he earned his doctorate degree in veterinary medicine in 1953. He began his veterinary practice with his dad and brother shortly thereafter.

Although their practice ran on a 24-hr schedule (that came with a standard zero to three hours of sleep for the on-call vet), Dick found enough time to immerse himself in community service. He simply loved Albany. 

He was the president of Kiwanis and winner of Albany's Distinguished Service Award. He, along with Jeannette, was a founding member of the Albany Tennis Club. He was also past president of the Club. After having grown up in downtown Albany, Dick was a passionate supporter of downtown businesses and the people who ran them. Whether it was Cleo’s, Long’s Shoe Store, or Bickman’s in the early days or, more currently, Loafers, Vault 244, Sweet Red, The Depot, Sybaris, The Natty Dresser and The Pix… he loved them all.

He and Jeannette were among the earliest supporters of the Carousel project. They were each volunteer carvers but their most proud moment came with the completion of the animal they sponsored and named, Quigga the Quagga.

Dr. Dick was also a supporter of his professional associations. He was the past president of the WSU veterinary alumni association. He was the past president of the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association as well as Oregon’s representative to the American Veterinary Medical Association. He served on the board of directors for the Oregon Animal Health Foundation and was appointed by the governor to be on the Oregon Racing Commission (one of two governor-appointed honors in his life, also serving on the State of Oregon Parole Board).

Dick taught his kids about loyalty, whether to the family, friends, the community, church, or your school. To him, his kids could do no wrong and his grandkids were on the level of Tom Brady, Mark Twain, or Madame Curie… at least. He was a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat, Episcopalian, and Washington State Cougar vowing to the end that there are still 2 seconds on the clock in the 1998 Rose Bowl.

Richard was preceded in death by his beloved mother, Nell, his father, his loving wife of 64 years, Jeannette, and two brothers, Bob and Roger. He leaves behind children Reiley (Mary), Nell, and Tim (Allison), eight grandchildren, and seven great grandchildren with two on the way.

A celebration of life is being planned for late summer or early fall. Memorial contributions may be made to the Albany Historic Carousel.

Published in the Corvallis Gazette-Times on April 16, 2020.