Richard Robert Reed
Richard Reed was an incredible father, grandfather, husband, brother, son, friend, teacher and leader. He was a serial entrepreneur and conquerer of life. He traveled the globe and gave so much to so many. The world won't be the same without him in it and we miss him greatly. Enjoy this story of his life and please contribute your own stories and photos of him. - The Reed Family
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Thomas PlummerLarger than life have been the only adequate words I have ever found to describe Dick Reed. There are men who are defined by their achievements and then there are men, such as Dick, whose lives far exceed merely being successful in the world.
Most of us in the more normal world hope to someday be remembered by a few friends, a family that loved us, and maybe with a small list of achievements accomplished through our years; all things that combine to define our lives and validate our existence for whatever years we were given.
There are a few people in life, however, that simply live larger than could ever be defined by their achievements. Dick Reed accomplished much in life, most of which he was never given the recognition and credit he deserved. He changed the world around him and left so many people better off for having met him or worked for him, yet he was seldom celebrated for a life that made such a difference to so many people.
His achievements on an average day would be the number one item in most other people’s lifetime highlight reel. He created the world’s largest martial arts organization, the fitness industry’s most proficient third-party financial service company over 20 years ahead of the rest of their competitiors, gave money to hundreds of people looking for help and opportunity, spun off a small herd of people who worked for him and then went on to have very successful careers in their own right and toward the end of his life he used his wealth to better the world through his generosity.
He was also a man of hilarious contradictions. He was a man of class, comfortable in any high end restaurant or formal situation in the world, but mostly enjoyed kicking back with a rum and Coke, a few friends and wearing a red headband and sleeveless tee shirt. He was stationed in Korea, met the great Master H. U. Lee when they were both very young men, brought Master Lee to Omaha to start their grand vision, and then promptly got him deported and had to do it all over again. He was a man of vision in his youth, but with a few loose ends he was yet to learn.
He smoked and drank his entire life, but up until the day he died there aren’t too many men who could probably outrun him or keep up with his lifestyle even in his 70’s. His life’s passion was fitness, but his fun was always a smoke, a few drinks and to be surrounded by friends. He was always Mr. Reed in the office, Dick to friends over drinks, but would answer to, “The Big Kahuna” after just a drink or two.
Dick would also lecture his team on budgets and spending and then three hours later take them all on the town for an outrageous dinner and drinks. He disliked intellectuals, preferring the company of “authentic people”, but was usually the smartest guy in any room he was in. He would argue both sides of any good debate and was usually better read on either point than the guy he was arguing with at the time. And he is without a doubt the only man I have ever met who played classical piano at 7:30 in the morning in baggy gym shorts, red bandana in place with a rum on the piano.
Dick Reed lived life on his own terms. There has never been another person in my life that had such a strong internal belief of who he was, how he wanted to live and how he treated others in his life. He had his own code of ethics, never wavered, never compromised, but always stayed true to himself, and most importantly, to his friends. He was a moral compass all to himself and through the years you always knew the man he was, because he was the man he had always been, something so comforting in a world of situational ethics and wobbly decisions.
One of the most overused phrases in today’s society is, “You’re a good man.” Back in the day, before this sentiment of character was ruined by television, and by a generation that used this used term without understanding its true meaning, being called a good man meant you were a true man of character, a man of depth, a man of ethics and a man of your word. Back in the day, calling someone a good man was the highest compliment you could ever give a person. Dick Reed, you were a good man in the highest sense of the word…. a very, very good man and you embodied all that was good in what a man should be in life.
Finally, the joke on Dick was that he would live forever. He, and only he, would be the man who figured out how to cheat death forever. His death caught us all by surprise, not because of his age, but because those who knew him could not believe that he would not live forever. He was 75 going on 45 in mind and spirit and if there was any person on the planet who could have defied his own mortality forever it would have been Dick.
But I still think the last laugh is on us. Immortality is more than just defying death; it is figuring out a way to be remembered forever. In that sense, Dick won. The stories of his generosity, the fun nights spent being adult delinquents, his loyalty to his old friends, his legacy of beautiful children and grandchildren all ensure he will be talked about by his peers, by those who had the privilege to work for him and by an entire generation of young people who only knew him as a grandfather for longer than most of us could ever hope for in life.
Dick Reed will live forever, because those of us who knew Dick as a good man, a man of graciousness, a gloating father and grandparent and a man that was always larger than life will remember him for a hundred years. Party on my old friend wherever you are, you did something so few others have ever achieved in my life: you earned my respect as a man and my gratitude for helping me get started in my life and career. Thank you Dick, it was an honor to know you.
September 21, 2016
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Basic InformationBornSep 9, 1941St. Paul, MinnesotaDiedAug 26, 2016Scottsdale, Arizona
familySusie ReedWifeKim (Reed) KeatingDaughterTamara (Reed) ValdezDaughterJohn KettererStepsonJames KettererStepsonJames ReedBrotherLinda ReedSister-in -LawJamie ValenzuelaNieceTony ReedNephewLucille Reed(d.)MotherHarold Reed(d.)FatherBob Reed(d.)BrotherJonas ValdezSon-in-lawMike KeatingSon-in-law
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