Long-time ACE president John Reed dies after contracting COVID-19

John Reed after receiving his award in February.

Edmonds resident John Reed, longtime president of the Alliance of Citizens for Edmonds (ACE), died Sunday, March 29 after contracting COVID-19.

ACE recognized Reed in late February for his 13 years of service leading the organization.

The 74-year-old Reed was ACE president from 2006-2019. Although he was retired from his role as president, he remained active as an ACE board member.

Reed, who had lived in Edmonds for more than 40 years, had been serving as a member of the Edmonds Citizens Housing Commission. He also is a former member of the Edmonds Planning Board.

Current ACE president Damian King, who first met Reed after joining ACE in 2009, recalled Reed mentioning that he tested positive for COVID-19 March 16. Reed had been recovering at home, King said, but was taken to Swedish Edmonds Wednesday, March 18, when his conditioned worsened.

King said he was shocked by the news of Reed’s passing.

“John did so much for the community of Edmonds,” King said.”He was a friend.”

“All of us in ACE are tremendously saddened by the sudden news about John,” King added. “John cared deeply about Edmonds and set the example on effective community involvement. He did his research, wrote position papers and eagerly spoke up when needed. And his easy-going laughter could make even the most serious efforts all the more fun. We will miss him greatly.”

Reed was preceded in death by his wife Gretchen, who passed away in 2014.

Edmonds City Council President Adrienne Fraley-Monillas said that both John and Gretchen Reed “wanted nothing more than to help Edmonds stay a wonderful place to live and work.”

Reed was passionate about the mission of ACE and its advocacy efforts to retain Edmonds’ small-town atmosphere and preserve its livability. With Reed at the helm, ACE was active in local politics, sponsoring candidate forums for Edmonds City Council, mayor and port commission elections.

“John’s dedication to ACE was truly remarkable,” said Fraley-Monillas, an ACE member. “Many times John would donate his own money to ensure our goals are represented.”

Fraley-Monillas described Reed as “fair, honest, non-partisan,” as well as “a loving husband, father, grandfather and a good friend to many of us.”

John Reed had two adult children. His daughter Rebecca Linville posted to his Facebook page Sunday announcing his death, stating that “our hearts are broken. Today we lost our beloved Dad/Grandpa.”

“I don’t have words right now to describe the shock and pain of the last 10ish days,” Linville wrote. “Our peace has come from envisioning what a sweet reunion with my mom he’s having today.”

 

 

 

30 Replies to “Long-time ACE president John Reed dies after contracting COVID-19”

  1. Met John in 2018 and joined ACE that same year. He had tremendous wisdom and patience, particularly with all things Edmonds’ government.
    I will miss his Texas drawl at ACE meetings and what he started with his love for Edmonds will persevere.
    RIP John.

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  2. John was such a good friend. My husband & I met Gretchen and John soon after moving to Edmonds in 2003. His love of Edmonds and selflessness in helping lead initiatives to save its historic downtown area was remarkable and always well-placed, always diplomatic. I will miss his smile, his crazy jokes and can-do attitude!

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  3. So sorry to read of John’s passing. I enjoyed the brief time working with him on the Edmonds Citizens’ Housing Commission. He was committed to Edmonds, without a doubt. I hope his children and grandchildren find precious solace in the many words of friendship and honor that will be shard in the coming days about their beloved father/grandfather.

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  4. I’m proud to say I’m one of John’s Salish Senior Pals and we are heartbroken for John and his family and us. John was an honest man who told it like it is as he saw it. Edmonds and all of us have lost a true friend. RIP John.

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  5. I have known John for many, many years going back to his professional days within the legal profession [1992 – 1994] when our 2 organizations worked long and hard as a team on a completed construction project for the State of WA. We also served together on the Edmonds Planning Board when he was Vice-Chair with myself as Chair quite a few years ago. I remember John most strongly as a ‘straight shooter’, always the one digging into the details and background of any given issue being tackled. His work within COE and especially ACE will long be remembered and retained in the heart and soul of our city.
    I will miss him.

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  6. As a newcomer to Edmonds, I can attest to the success of John’s efforts to protect and maintain the city’s charm and livability. A relative of mine and long-time resident often says, “You can’t keep down a small town by the sea.” Great neighbors and dedicated people like John allow that slogan to ring true. I am happy to have known him even if for a short time.

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  7. I met John through ACE. He had a wonderful sense of humor and a great vision for keeping Edmonds the nice homey town that it is today. My condolences to his family.

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  8. So sad and tragic. I worked with ‘John for over 25 years at a Seattle law firm. He was wonderful, kind, thorough – a terrific teammate in every sense of the word.

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  9. John was a great co-worker. Skilled accountant and a patient teacher – he approached his job with positivity and good humor. He was proud to serve his City and mentioned it often. Terribly sad news.

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  10. I also worked with John Reed for over 25 years at the same Seattle law firm. John developed a reputation as a formidable financial expert witness based on his thorough preparation and incisive analysis. These skills carried over to his work in Edmonds. All the while, he maintained an unforgettable kindness, humility, and sense of humor. I’m thankful John recently was recognized for his efforts on behalf of Edmonds.

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  11. John was a class act, a pleasure to work along side for almost two decades. He will be missed but not forgotten.

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  12. I met John through The Edmonds Housing Commission. From my short six months’ interaction with John, I know he has the community in his heart. Such a tragedy for our city to lose a good man. My condolences to his family.

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  13. I was shocked and saddened when my good friend Sam called me today with the news of John’s passing. He and I worked together closely for over 10 years but I have known John for over 30 years. He was one of the best financial consultants I have ever worked with and he taught me a lot — he always gave the team confidence that the numbers were right and they always held up under scrutiny — he always kept his cool and he was always a gentleman. Better than that, he became a good friend over the years — often strengthened through great conversations over a beer (or two, or three) after a long day of doing battle. Later, getting to meet his wonderful wife, Gretchen, and then his children as they grew up and hearing him talk about his grand children — you always knew John had his priorities right. I am proud to say John was my friend, but he left too early. He was one of the good ones and I will miss him.

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  14. I’m so saddened to hear about the loss of John Reed. He was a fine man with a great deal of integrity. I really enjoyed working with him on planning board and looked up to him. He will be dearly missed.

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  15. I wonder how accurate the COVID-19 numbers are. The press has been reporting for several days that there have been 195 deaths in our state. John just passed away yesterday, so he evidently is not included in the 195.

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  16. I worked closely with John for a period of time. John was passionate about Edmonds. Edmonds has lost a true advocate.

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  17. John was a man of many wonderful traits: intellect, compassion, wisdom, humor, wit and empathy. Let’s not forget the years he dedicated to the City being on the planning board and I valued his input and there was always a story to tell. His recent involvement in the Housing Commission also was a benefit to many of the newer commissioners (I had been told). It was great of ACE to honor his dedication to that grassroots community group as the hours he spent working on those issues also did not go unnoticed and the conversation always were deeply city centric. I will definitely miss his presence as he always had that twinkle in his eye, charming grin and a story to tell. RIP John – now you are back with the love of your life – Gretchen.

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  18. RIP John and condolences to your family. Thanks for being a great mentor, tenacious protector of Edmonds, and for always staying calm and focused on facts. The world needs more like you!

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  19. John & Gretchen Reed lived next door to us for decades, and we couldn’t have asked for better neighbors. We often talked with John about Edmonds issues. His love of his family was obvious; he was so excited to share news of his children and grandchildren. We will miss his smile and sudden laughter, and our hearts go out to all his family.

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  20. Very sad to hear about John, but very inspired by the togetherness affect this is having on this community. It’s a big part of what ACE is.

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  21. I remember a conversation I had with John Reed. We were discussing John’s efforts to oppose attempts by developers to exceed downtown Edmonds’ four story height limit. I told John I appreciated his efforts to preserve the small town scale of Edmonds. John replied, “I will oppose any attempt to exceed the four story limit as long as there is breath in my body.”

    I would like to suggest that the City of Edmonds dedicate a flag pole in John’s honor at the municipal plaza with the height of the pole to be four stories. If there is no suitable location at the plaza, perhaps the pole could be placed at the new senior center at the waterfront where John frequently walked. I also would suggest that a pair of bronze cowboy boots (representing John’s Texas roots) be placed at the base of the pole. The boots would symbolize the large shoes to be filled upon John’s passing.

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  22. I am blessed to have counted John as a friend. His sense of humor was legendary and, oh, that Texas twang:) I had known him for only a short time, but was so impressed by his research skills, his cogent writing and his dedication to the people of Edmonds. John is going to be very much missed. I believe he is at his wife’s side right now.

    I concur ins Glenn Nelson’s suggestion about some kind of tribute to John.

    Lynne Chelius

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  23. My deepest sympathies to his family and friends. I met him once at an ACE meeting. He was a very sincere and accomplished man. He will be missed.

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  24. Our most heartfelt sympathy to Justin, Rebecca, and your families. Your father was an exceptional person and a good friend. We are saddened by the tragedy and send our love and caring. Norm, Gayle, Mike, and Chris

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  25. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Reed family. I did not know John personally; but I know this is a great loss for our Edmonds community. Let us all band together to overcome this terrible virus. Rest in peace, MR. REED.

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