Our beloved Wilson Grant Reid was born in Norwood Pennsylvania, September 28, 1930 to James Potter Reid and Elizabeth Lear McClurg – the youngest of 5 children. Having been given the names of 2 presidents, and living on Governor Printz Ave between Pres. Cleveland Ave and Pres. McKinley Ave, he thought he was destined for greatness. And to everyone that knew him, he truly was the greatest of men.
As a boy, he spent his days exploring the woods by his home often catching and studying snakes, crayfish, water spiders and other critters, a practice his children and grandchildren have continued. This fascination with the world around him set a pattern of study and learning that would lead him to great treasures of knowledge. Although he was not a man of many words, he was a favorite source of knowledge on endless topics. He graduated from the US Naval Academy and attended Stanford University, UC Berkley, and eventually received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. Bill worked most of his career at the Naval Research lab, writing an interactive software system consisting of about a half million lines of code for the atomic clocks aboard the satellites of the Global Positioning System. He became one of the most highly respected members of the Precise Time community.
Besides his scholarly abilities, Bill was an avid athlete. In High School, he was on the basketball and baseball teams, gaining a lot of recognition as a pitcher. At the US Naval Academy, he participated as an oarsman on the crew team, becoming a national champion and an alternate for the 1952 Helsinki Gold Medal Olympic Crew team from the Naval Academy (known as The Great Eight). In his later years he always stayed physically active, gardening and taking his family camping and clamming on Virginia’s Barrier Islands.
Of all of Bill’s accomplishments, he always insisted that his greatest achievement and blessing in life was marrying for eternity the woman of his dreams, Nancy Gail Schwartz in the Los Angeles Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints. Bill adored Nancy for all 62 years of their marriage, never missing an opportunity to express that deep and abiding love to her and their two children Launie and Joseph. In his quiet and gentle way, he was truly a giant of a man in the way he loved his family deeply as well as those he knew and cared about.
Bill often said that the key to having been blessed so greatly in his life was choosing to follow God’s commandments and the Savior’s restored gospel. What set him apart from most was his great faithfulness in his God and truly believing His word. Studying the Scriptures was a regular part of his daily life. He loved and treasured the gospel of Jesus Christ and always took the opportunity to share his testimony and gospel knowledge with all those who would listen, even serving an 18 month full-time mission with his wife in the Haiti Port-au-Prince Mission.
It is truly impossible to convey, through words, the impact that his life had on all who knew him. In his gentle and loving way, he uplifted everyone around him. He was an example of knowledge, wisdom, faith and love. He will truly be missed by his family and those who knew him. But his desire for us would be to look forward, with hope, to that day when we will all be reunited again in the presence of our God.
Wilson Grant Reid is survived by his loving wife Nancy, his two children, Launie and Joseph, 13 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.