Harrison David “Dave” Reed, 88 years, was born in Erie, PA, on July 1, 1931. He was the son of Thomas Harrison Reed and Florence Nash Reed and grandson of Dr. George Arthur Reed. His ancestors were farmers in nearby Millcreek Township who migrated west from York and Lancaster Counties in the mid-1800s. His father owned and operated the Erie Hardware Store for many years, and his grandfather was an esteemed doctor at St. Vincent’s Hospital.
Dave had two brothers, Jack Conlin McGraw, of West Covina, California, and Stuart Arthur “Art” Reed, a retired university professor who currently lives in Kailua, Oahu, Hawaii.
Dave was a champion swimmer in high school and college. As a backstroker, he helped lead his high school relay team at Academy High School to win first place at the state championship in State College. He attended Syracuse University and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering. After working briefly as a civil engineer on the Federal highway system in Oregon, he was called to duty and entered the U.S. Navy Reserve during the Korean War, serving from 1953 to 1956. His most memorable duty station was in Kodiak, Alaska.
While stationed in Boston, Dave met his wife, Norma Hachadourian, daughter of Shahin and Arakse Hachadourian. They married on April 22, 1956, at St. James Armenian Church in Watertown, MA. Dave’s early career as a civil engineer for Stone and Webster took them both to several different locations in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Virginia, where Dave was instrumental in the construction of power plants with the company. In 1962, Dave and Norma moved to the Philadelphia area to Broomall, where they remained until 2015. While working for General Electric, Dave earned a second bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Drexel University’s night school. His subsequent career involved working for several engineering firms as a mechanical engineer. His last place of employment prior to retirement was as a HVAC specialist with the architectural-engineering firm of The Kling-Lindquist Partnership.
Dave and Norma raised two daughters, Janine and Alison, who graduated from Marple Newtown Senior High School in 1975 and 1979, respectively. Janine attended Muhlenberg College and Temple University School of Dentistry, and Alison attended Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania. Dave took immense pride in his daughters and their pursuits, and he supported them with many aspects of their school life and chosen careers, enabling them to attend college, providing (and buying) transportation, helping with class projects, and visiting downtown. After his retirement, Dave enjoyed assisting Janine and her husband, Michael Meshkov, with their growing and successful dental practice, frequently driving to the office in Northeast Philadelphia to help them. Dave and his family were members of St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Broomall, where he and Norma volunteered with a food program there.
Dave and Norma traveled extensively, taking many family trips to Erie, Boston, Cape Cod, California, and Hawaii to visit his and Norma’s family. They owned several timeshare weeks and frequently traveled with other couples or family to exciting locations around the country, as well as to Switzerland, and Austria. A memorable time included a trip to Italy, where Dave and Norma celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with their daughters; sons-in-law, Michael Meshkov and Jim Ross; and grandchildren, Bryan and Kristi Meshkov.
Dave enjoyed a variety of hobbies and interests. Each May he could be found picking strawberries at a local farm for his home-made jam. He also enjoyed baking his own bread, joining a weekly golfing group, backyard bird watching, and bicycling through the neighborhood. Dave loved music, and his interests spanned many genres, from Beethoven, to the Beatles, to Sara Brightman, to Bruce! Dave and Norma together attended many concerts with the family, ranging from performances by the Philadelphia Orchestra, to Handel’s Messiah, to Bruce Springsteen, and even the Rolling Stones. Geography was a special interest of his throughout his life, and he could spend hours with a magnifying glass examining maps and atlases. Wherever Dave and Norma traveled, he collected samples of water in small bottles and kept them as mementos. Both Old Faithful and Ole Miss stood side by side on his bedroom dresser!
Typical of many engineers, Dave was a tinkerer and loved taking things apart, fixing them, and reassembling them. A favorite activity of his keeping his grandfather’s grandfather clock in perfect running condition. Dave was the ultimate family man and loved spending time at home with his wife and daughters, and later, with their husbands, Michael and Jim. As a tinkerer himself, Jim thought of Dave as a second father, and they enjoyed each other’s company while spending time together in Jim’s shop at his and Alison’s farmette in Newville, PA. Dave eagerly supported them when they moved to the country, visiting frequently either with Norma or by himself to offer moral support, help with the latest renovation project, or assist with planting their small vineyard!
Dave and Norma moved to the Tel Hai Retirement Community in Honey Brook, PA in 2015, where they occupied an apartment in Bluestone at Stonecroft. Dave especially loved watching the local farmers and their activities in the valley beyond, visiting the Honey Brook Golf Course for a hot dog and Yuengling Lager, and watching the flocks of geese come in for a landing on the nearby lake. Dave lived at the Meadows at Tel Hai during his last few months, where he received the warm and attentive care of the staff members there.
Dave was interred at a beautiful graveside service conducted by Reverend David Hicks, Chaplain of the Tel Hai Community, on Monday, March 9, 2020, at the West Laurel Hill Cemetery, in Bala Cynwyd, PA. The day could not have been more lovely, the sky sunnier, or the warm breeze more reassuring, as family and close friends laid him to rest. As we remember Dave, memorial contributions may be made to either the American Diabetes Association, P.O. Box 15829, Arlington, VA 22215, or the American Red Cross, 2221 Chestnut Street, Phila., PA, 19103. Online condolences can be shared at www.thelabsfh.com. Labs Funeral Home, Inc., Honey Brook, PA.
The family is very appreciative of the staff in the Tel Hai Community and for the prayers, support, and kind words that have been offered by family and friends.