Gretchen Reed 1933-2019

LIBERTY — Gretchen Reed, 85, of Liberty Township, passed away peacefully Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019, at Liberty Health Care Center.

Gretchen was born Dec. 25, 1933, in Youngstown, Ohio, the daughter of the late Jacob Paul and Jessie Mae Moser Keefer.

Gretchen was a lifelong resident of Liberty Township. She was a 1951 graduate of Liberty High School and was president of her senior class.

Gretchen received the English scholarship presented by the Liberty Mothers Club. Following high school, Gretchen went to Baldwin Wallace College after receiving the Methodist Scholarship to attend and graduated in 1955. Gretchen graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education, minored in music, and was a member of Phi Mu Sorority and the Kappa Phi Club. Gretchen received her master’s degree as a reading specialist from Youngstown State University, class of 1981.

Gretchen was an elementary school teacher in the Liberty schools, teaching third grade from 1955 to 1959 and 1967 to 1992. She also was an elementary teacher in the Girard city schools from 1966 to 1967. Gretchen was an elementary teacher for 32 years. She was selected Outstanding Teacher in 1975 and 1989 and also received the Jennings Scholar award from 1984 to 1985.

She was an active member in the Church Hill United Methodist Church, where she served as Stephen Ministry leader, historian, peace advocate, lay delegate to the annual conference, Sunday school teacher and leader, vacation Bible school teacher, was a 60-year choir member and taught Disciple Bible study. She was a part of Church and Society for the Youngstown District and was active in the United Methodist Women, serving two terms as president.

Gretchen participated in many organizations including Trumbull Retired Teachers Association, where she was a lifetime member; Ohio Education Association; National Education Association; Trumbull Area Reading Council, where she served as president; Beta Chi Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma, where she was also president from 1992 to 1994; Proto Club of Girard; Sunrise Chapter of Eastern Star No. 458; Phi Delta Kappa; and was an alumnae of the Kappa Phi Club.

Gretchen founded Blott School Kids Project that gave clothing and gifts to children from Liberty Township for the past 30 years. She coordinated hundreds of volunteers over the years who supported the project. Gretchen volunteered after retiring at Blott School as part of the HOSTS / Project MORE reading program. Gretchen received many awards in her lifetime. She was selected as the first “Person of the Year” by Liberty Township trustees in 2003; she was selected by the Liberty Historical Society as “Women of the Year” in 2008; and she was one of 11 winners of the Tribune Chronicle’s 2011 Community Star Awards.

Gretchen leaves to cherish her memory her daughter, Wendy (Michael) Szakacs of Liberty Township, along with three grandchildren, David and Jessie Szakacs and Jenna Baughman.

She was preceded in death by her husband, John R. Reed, whom she married June 25, 1955, and who passed away June 21, 2007; her daughter, Beth Baughman, who passed away Jan. 27, 2002; and two brothers, Gene and Johnathan Keefer.

Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, at Church Hill United Methodist Church.

The family will receive relatives and friends from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8, 2019, at Blackstone Funeral Home in Girard.

The family would like to thank the staff at Liberty Health Care Center and Harbor Lights Hospice for the kind and compassionate care that was given to Gretchen.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be sent to Church Hill United Methodist Church for the Blott School Kids Project, 189 Churchill Hubbard Road, Youngstown, OH 44505.

Visit www.blackstonefuneralhome.com to view this obituary and to send any expressions of sympathy to the family.

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