James M. Reed
June 27, 1915 - February 9, 2010
James M. "Jim" Reed a retired journalist, died Tuesday, February 9, 2010 in Gassville, Arkansas, at the age of 94.
Descendant of a pioneer Kansas family, Reed, a Methodist, who moved to Cotter, Arkansas in 1981, after his retirement from St. Joseph Medical Center in Wichita, Kansas.
He was born June 27, 1915 at Centralia, Kansas, the eldest child of Scott Merchant and Martha Howell Reed, who preceded him in death.
After graduating from high school, Reed began his career as a journalist on the Frankfort, Kansas Index. At that time, Frankfort was the smallest town in the U.S. with a daily newspaper.
He was sports editor and later editor of The Topeka Daily Capital. Under his editorship, the newspaper received more than 50 national and regional awards for journalistic and photographic excellence.
He also was sports editor of the Burlington, Iowa Hawkeye Gazette, a midwest sports official, and a news and sports commentator on radio stations in Iowa and Kansas.
The Reeds operated their own advertising and public relations agency and published Now magazine in Stockton, California. Later they purchased and actively published the weekly newspaper in Osage City, Kansas.
Reed also was well known as a public relations practitioner, having served as PR director of the Kansas Industrial Development Commission and editor of To The Stars magazine; as director of communications for the American Medical Association in Chicago, the American Mutual Insurance Alliance in Chicago, St. Joseph Medical Center in Wichita, Kansas and as vice president of Blasingame Associates, a management consulting firm in Chicago.
He joined the American Medical Association to start the American Medical News, and to serve as its first editor. The News is still the world's most widely read newspaper in medicine.
For more than 50 years, Reed wrote humorous columns for newspapers and magazines. His homespun humor was widely quoted across the nation by book publishers, newspapers, magazines like Reader's Digest and syndicated columnists. He is the author of eight books, and more than 200 magazine articles. After retirement, he wrote humor columns for The Ozarks Mountaineer and Branson's Country Review magazines.
He was a self-taught watercolorist. More than 300 of his paintings are in private and corporate collection in 14 states. As a public speaker, he spoke to audiences in 35 states, and was invited to address the World Medical Association meeting in Paris.
The Reeds were breeders and exhibitors of show dogs. Two dogs from their Holly Lane Kennels became AKC champions.
Reed attended the U.S. Army Air Corps officers' school, Washburn University and the University of Northern Colorado. He served as a public relations officer in World War II and was the special assistant to the Commanding General of Air Transport Command's Caribbean Division.
Reed married Janet Lois "Nan" Distelhorst in Burlington, Iowa, December 26, 1942. They have two sons, Kerry Scott Reed of Katy, Texas and Stephen Charles Reed of Phoenix, Arizona. They survive. A sister, Mrs. Muriel Walters and a brother, Thomas R. Reed preceded him in death.
Reed was listed in Who's Who in America, served as a trustee of the William Allen White Foundation at the University of Kansas, was a life member of the Kansas Historical Society, member of Sigma Delta Chi, past president of Native Sons of Kansas, member of American Society of Newspaper Editors, Public Relations Society of America and Chicago Press Club. He also served as a member and officer of numerous professional, civic and fraternal organizations.
Funeral services will be 2:00 PM Sunday, February 14, 2010 at Kirby & Family Funeral Home Chapel, with Reverend Sam Hofer officiating. Entombment will be in the Kirby's Tucker Memorial Mausoleum with Norman Wilber, Bernard Willborn, Joseph Berfanger, James Bell, Larry Rose and Gil Stammer as pallbearers.
Memorials may be made to the Humane Society of North Central Arkansas.
Arrangements are by Kirby & Family Funeral and Cremation Services.