January 19, 1934 –
January 30, 2019
Richard Reid (known as Dick throughout most of his working life) was born January 19, 1934, in Tulsa’s St. John Hospital as the fourth of six children. As part of a large family, Richard had many entertaining stories of his childhood and often talked of his job as a bat boy for the Tulsa Oilers.
At 17, he joined the United States Navy and served until 1957 as a communications cryptographic specialist. He spent over six years at duty stations in Guam, Japan, Norman, Oklahoma, and on the U.S.S. Orion. While in the navy he continued college studies at OU, OCU, and William & Mary. Upon completion of his navy service, he enrolled in the University of Tulsa and graduated in 1961 with a B. S. in engineering physics. Shortly after this, he met and married another Tulsa native, Edith Ramsay. Richard began his career as an FAA Instructor in Oklahoma City, and in 1962 he moved to Hampton, VA, to work at Langley with NACA (National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics) in the early days of the space program.
In 1963, Richard and Edith moved to Clear Lake City when he took a job as an aerospace engineer for NASA. He enjoyed a rewarding career with the space agency working with guidance, navigation and control and contributing to the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and Shuttle programs which also included several trips to the Soviet Union during the Apollo/Soyuz project.
A devoted father and an athlete himself, Richard attended hundreds of his children’s sporting events and coached several baseball and soccer teams during the early years of Clear Lake City. Additionally, he was an avid golfer and obtained a private pilot’s license in 1991.
During his tenure at NASA, he completed a J.D. degree at the University of Houston Law School and worked part time in private practice for twenty years. After retirement from NASA, he worked as a consultant for several space contractors, enrolled in writing workshops at Rice University, and went on to obtain a master’s in humanities at University of Houston Clear Lake in 2000. As was his determined nature, after his engineering and legal career retirement, he focused on a new career as an author. He was thrilled when his first short story was published in the Houston Chronicle State Lines publication on December 5, 1993 under the title “A Day for a Little Live Fire”. He went on to receive several local writing awards.
At 6’3” Richard was a “larger than life” figure to many, including his grandchildren, who affectionately referred to him as “Grumpy”.
Richard was preceded in death by his parents, John and Gertrude Reid, and his siblings John, Tom, Jim, and sister Elinor.
He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Edith Ramsay Reid, his children Gretchen, and husband Stephen Schulz, Philip Reid, David Reid, and three grandchildren, Shelby and Sean Schulz, Jake Reid, his sister Jane Reid, niece Karen Bradbury and numerous other family members and friends.
Service will held at Bay Area Unitarian Universalist Church, 17503 El Camino Real, Houston, TX 77058 on Wednesday February 13, 2019 at 2 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Bay Area Unitarian Universalist Church.