Eugene W. Reed, former owner of Reed's Refrigeration Service and a company that designed and installed kitchens and bathrooms, died of stroke complications Monday at Mercy Ridge Retirement Community in Timonium. He was 86.
Mr. Reed was born in Baltimore and raised on a farm in Laurel. He was a 1935 graduate of City College. During World War II, he enlisted in the Army Medical Corps. He served with the 74th Field Hospital on Okinawa.
After the war, he worked briefly for General Automatic Corp. in Baltimore before joining Reed's Refrigeration Service, which had been established by his father in the early 1940s. The company installed and maintained commercial air conditioning and refrigeration units.
In the 1960s, he founded Appliance and Kitchen Center in Lutherville. He sold Reed's and closed his other company when he retired about 10 years ago.
Mr. Reed, who lived in Timonium before moving to the retirement community in 2001, was an avid grower of tomatoes. He also enjoyed golfing, swimming, dancing and attending Orioles and Colts games.
He was a former member of the Hillendale and Hunt Valley country clubs.
"He was a Lutheran and converted to Catholicism when he was 80 on Easter Sunday," said a daughter, Patricia R. Norman of Baldwin.
Mr. Reed was a communicant of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ Roman Catholic Church, 20 E. Ridgely Road in Timonium, where a Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10:30 a.m. today.
Mr. Reed also is survived by his wife of 62 years, the former Beatrice Berger; a son, Gary W. Reed of Perry Hall; three other daughters, Jacqueline Schnee of Glen Arm, Eugenia L. Oshrine of Baltimore and Rebecca R. Layne of Helena, Mont.; five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.