Businessman, Mediator, Community Leader, 1911 – 2000
A successful businessman, Karl Reed spent his life working to help the underdog, the disadvantaged, and the disabled. For most of Reed’s adult life, he worked to improve the quality of life and improve the community where he lived.
Born in Zanesville, Ohio, Reed started life as a leader. He was in band, on the debate team (no doubt where he learned his amazing mediation skills), and was active in DeMolay. He joined Zanesville Chapter in Zanesville, Ohio in 1928, where he served as Master Councilor.
During World War II in Oakland, California, he helped with the integration of women into the heavy industry work force. He was a volunteer Air Raid Warden and Block Captain.
While in Montgomery, Alabama, in the 1950s, Reed was a plant manager for General Motors Institute of Technology. He was also a leader in Rotary Club, YMCA, Boy Scouts, Boys’ Club, Red Cross, Chamber of Commerce, United Way, and the U.S. Savings Bond campaigns. As founding chairman of the Men of Montgomery, Reed was instrumental in negotiating the peaceful settlement of the Montgomery race and bus riots.
For over sixty years, Reed was an industry leader. Wherever he lived, Karl was active in volunteering in the community with leadership roles. Throughout his life, he continued to have roles in charities, civic organizations and service on boards until his death in July of 2000. He was named Man of the Year by the Rotary Club and the Salvation Army.
Reed was initiated into DeMolay in Zanesville, Ohio.
His service for others, God, and his family while working in industry for 60 years truly exemplifies DeMolay ideals.