Elizabeth Rose Reed


Last updated 12/20/2023 at 2:34pm | View PDF

Elizabeth "Betty" Rose Dean Reed, 95, died peacefully with her children at her bedside on Dec. 5, 2023, exactly 18 years to the day after losing her husband of 53 years, Dwight Reed.

Born in 1928 to Harry and Louise Dean, Betty grew up in Naples, N.Y., in the heart of the upstate Finger Lakes region. She was the proud valedictorian of her graduating class of 12 at Naples Central School and went on to graduate from Cornell University. At Cornell, Betty met Dwight, freshly returned from Europe and World War II military service, at a Methodist Wesley Foundation gathering.

Following a year of high school teaching in Bath, N.Y., Betty and Dwight were married and settled in the Chicago area. Having played such an important part of their early lives together, Dwight and Betty never missed a Cornell reunion, with Betty most recently attending her 65th in 2014.

Betty's interests and skills were wide and varied. She was an expert seamstress and taught sewing to youths and tailoring to adults, and, while nurturing her children at home, was a consumer product tester for Sears Roebuck & Co., memorably testing one of the very first microwave ovens. Not surprisingly, Betty was the first in her extended family to own, and to actually use, a home computer.

Betty's mother was a high school English teacher and instilled in Betty a lifelong love of the written word. She was a voracious reader - fiction and poetry were her favorites. Betty was an active member of the Barrington United Methodist Church, and her Christian upbringing and resolute and abiding faith fostered a commitment to the service of others. Betty was named a Volunteer of the Year by the Chicago Sun-Times for founding the Barrington area Meals With Wheels program and, among other activities, was the long time treasurer and 2013 Grand Marshall of the Barrington Area CROP (Community Response to Overcome Poverty) Hunger Walk, and a co-founder of Barrington Giving Day. Betty was also a proud member of PEO Chapter KF.

For 20 years, as part of the Butterball Turkey Talk Line, Betty fielded calls from harried household chefs at Thanksgiving and Christmas. She celebrated her last Thanksgiving with her family 10 days before she died, once again regaling the group with her always-entertaining memories of her Turkey Talk Line experiences.

Betty spent the last 20 years of her life living independently at the Garlands of Barrington, where she enjoyed the company, love and support of her family and countless friends. Always forward-looking, Betty was an incredibly positive person through the very final days of her life; she never stopped thinking about the next gathering, the next book, the next bridge game, and the next sweater to be knitted for her beloved grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Betty is survived by her son, Glenn (Barbara); her daughter, Margaret Reed (Matt) Moran of Hinsdale; her grandchildren, Evangeline (Rob) Reed Koslowsky, Anna (Tim) Reed Wheeler, Arden Mary Reed, Carolyn (Mike) Moran McIntyre and William and David Moran; and her six great grandchildren, Lola Josephine and Rowe William Koslowsky, Charles Reed, August Welsh, John Glenn Wheeler and Elise Genevieve McIntyre.

Betty was preceded in death by her husband, Dwight; and her brother, Robert F. Dean.

Visitation is from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 12, at the Barrington United Methodist Church, 98 Algonquin Road.

A memorial service will follow at 11:30 a.m. at the church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made online to the Northern Illinois Food Bank at http://www.solvehungertoday.org/

The Davenport Family Funeral Home in Barrington handled the arrangements.


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