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“Pops” Jack Reed passed away on November 25, 2022 at the age of 90, and will be deeply
mourned by his family and friends. Jack lost his beloved wife, Gloria, in 2013 after 58 blessed
years. He is survived by his three children, Laura Peterson (husband Russell), Richard Reed
(wife Kathy), and Edwin Reed (wife MaryBeth); by his two grandchildren Becky Reed and Nate
Reed (wife Hannah); and by his two great-grand children, Jack and Idabelle Reed.
Pops was a good Christian man, a loving husband, and a wonderful father. He loved telling
jokes, puns, and singing.
Pops was born in Iowa, but around age ten, his family moved to the territory of Alaska where he
grew up in the community of Sitka, on the then remote Sitka Island. The island was so unsettled
that in high school, after a certain age, the older students wore their pistols to school to protect
the younger students from the Alaskan brown bears that roamed in town during the short, dark
Pops studied physics in college, was commissioned an Air Force lieutenant, and then did
graduate studies in meteorology. Later the AF sent him for another degree in computer design
and programming. As an Air Force weather officer, Dad forecast for early space launches from
Cape Canaveral, was a weather officer at Strategic Air Command Headquarters during the Cuban
Missile Crisis, worked on programming some of the earliest computers, designed and
programmed Air Force weather satellites, and was a weather officer at the 8th Tactical Fighter
Wing during Operation Bolo - the operation where the 8th led by Robin Olds and Chappie James
shot down nearly all of the North Vietnamese Air Force’s MIG fighters. His Air Force career
highlight was during the Cold War, when he decoded a Soviet satellite, enabling us to use
information from their satellites instead of having to launch our own. He retired in 1979 as a
After his Air Force career, he taught AP physics at the academic magnet school in Montgomery
and, for a time, physics at Huntington College. For nearly forty years Dad was a Boy Scout
leader. For many years he led the Merry Elders, a group that sang in nursing homes for the
residents, even after many of them were older than the residents.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the American Diabetes Association in his memory.
Thursday, December 1, 2022
Starts at 1:15pm (Central time)
Alabama National Cemetery
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