County mourns passing of OVSD Board member Tom Reed

The county is mourning the sudden death of ACOVSD Board member Tom Reed, who passed away on Monday.

Memorial scholarship established to honor Reed’s contributions to education – 

By Patricia Beech –
Photo courtesy of Laura Applegate – 

Residents of Adams County were shocked this week by the sudden death of Ohio Valley School District board member, Tom Reed.
“Tom was a very good person who had a soft spot in his heart for kids, and was very passionate about teaching,” said OVSD Superintendent Richard Seas. “His passing leaves a big void.”
Reed was known as a man of strong faith and gentle humor, who was devoted to education and advocated for kids.
He died unexpectedly Monday at his mother’s home in Locust Grove.
“The Locust Grove and Peebles communities have lost a giant,” said fellow OVSD board member, Judy Campbell. “Tom and I talked the same language, and many times we bounced ideas off each other. Tom had such a passion for excellent instruction in the classroom and for student achievement – he will be greatly missed.”
Reed was first elected to the OVSD school board in 2013. He was forthright and a hard worker who expected the same from others, yet he was known for his affable sense of humor.
OVSD board member Charlie Bess called Reed “a joy to be around.”
“He always had smile and a joke,” she says. “He was my seat partner on the board and we sometimes got in trouble for talking too much.”
Reed was a graduate of Franklin High School. He began his teaching career at Franklin Elementary, and later served as the school’s principal. He also worked as an elementary teacher for the Ohio Valley School District before being elected to serve on the board.
Peebles High School principal Steve Appelman said Reed would be greatly missed in the district.
“Tom cared about kids,” said Appelman. “It’s sad that someone who cared so much, and who had so much energy for life is now gone.”
In addition to his work in education, Reed served as a Franklin Township Trustee and was the owner and operator of Reed’s Service Station and Tire Shop for 40 years.
According to Peebles High School History teacher John Robinson, Reed’s station was a favorite hang out for locals and people who wanted to talk about the school system.
“It was always interesting at Tom’s station because of the wide variety of people who stopped in,” said Robinson. “Tom would talk to all of them – he was such a positive person, and a little bit of a philosopher who often spoke about the brevity of life.”
Reed was also a huge sports fan.
“We went all over the place to watch basketball,” says Robinson, “He loved the game.”
Peebles’ boys varsity assistant coach Dayne Puckett also frequently accompanied Reed to area basketball games, but says they often found it difficult to get away from the station.
“Tom worked very, very hard – if a customer came in when we were about to leave for a game, he would stop to help them,” says Puckett. “He was a great guy, a good Christian man, good to his family, and he really enjoyed watching sports whether, it was baseball or basketball.”
A scholarship fund, spearheaded by fellow board member, Sarah “Sally” McDaniel, has been established in Reed’s name at all branches of the First State Bank.
McDaniel, who is also a lifelong friend to Reed, says she wanted to do something to honor his memory.
“Tom’s passions were his church and teaching kids math,” she says. “I wanted to do something that he would appreciate, and I believe this scholarship is a way to benefit kids in Tom’s name.”
Reed attended the Locust Grove Faith Community Church, where he officiated as praise leader prior to Sunday services.
“We’ve gone to the same church for almost 10 years,” says Robinson. “But I almost dreaded going to services Wednesday evening, it seemed so surreal that he wouldn’t be there, but we all talked and shared our memories about Tom – it was so different, like there was a big hole in our hearts.”
It’s a common feeling among residents of Franklin Township.
Commissioner Diane Ward, a long-time friend of Reed’s, said his passing leaves a void.
“Decades of friendship cannot be summed up in just a few words,” she said. “My family and I will truly miss Tom, and we will always cherish the fond memories of our friendship.”
Reed was preceded in death by his father, Harry. He will be mourned by his loving wife of 47 years, Sandy; his son, Todd; his four grandchildren: Chase, Cameron, Cade, and Cash; two brothers: Phil (Bonnie) Reed and Dick (Mitzi) Reed, both of Peebles; and three sisters Rose (Art) Myers, of Sandusky, Ohio; Beverly (Tim) Carroll of Hillsboro: and Barbara (Dean) Economous, of Salem, Ohio.
Services were held on Friday, Dec. 1 at the Locust Grove Faith Community church.
Anyone wishing to donate to the Tom Reed Scholarship fund may do so at any First State Bank Branch.