Charles S. 'DC' Reed, hospital food director

Charles "DC" Reed

Charles S. "DC" Reed, former food service director at Johns Hopkins Hospital and Greater Baltimore Medical Center, died July 24 of lung cancer at his Towson home. He was 79.

Born and raised in Towson, Mr. Reed attended Loyola High School and graduated in 1949 from Towson Catholic High School.


Mr. Reed enlisted in the Navy and served as a gunner's mate aboard the subchaser USS Crestview and later on the carrier USS Franklin D. Roosevelt and the destroyer USS Hemminger. After being discharged from active duty, he remained a naval reservist until 1958.

From 1950 to 1956, he worked in sales for Swift & Co., the meatpacking firm. He then went to work in food service at Johns Hopkins Hospital, eventually becoming director of food service.


"It wasn't uncommon for him to supervise the preparation and serving of 10,000 meals a day at Hopkins," said a daughter, Tara Reed Carlson, a registered nurse and business development manager at Maryland Shock Trauma Center who lives in Arnold.

Mr. Reed earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from Loyola College in 1967 and completed course work in hospital and food management in 1970 at George Washington University in Washington.

In 1965, Mr. Reed was recruited by GBMC to oversee the hospital's food service when it opened that year. He remained at GBMC until 1975, when he was recruited to design a new kitchen for Doctors Hospital in Lanham. He became director of food service, a position he held until retiring in 1987.

Mr. Reed also catered private parties and wedding receptions. "On one memorable New Year's Eve, he had nine different events going on in one night," Mrs. Carlson recalled.

After retiring from his professional food career, Mr. Reed worked for several years in Baltimore County's Land Acquisition Department.

Mr. Reed prepared and served meals at Our Daily Bread on the first Sunday of the month for more than 30 years.

"Many times, these Sundays would fall on holiday weekends and his family knew that they would not enjoy their holiday meal until he returned from serving meals at Our Daily Bread," said Mrs. Carlson. "He brought joy to the Our Daily Bread community and got so much more in return."

Mr. Reed "was outgoing and friendly to everyone," said Doris Franz-Poling, program manager for volunteers at Our Daily Bread. "He loved it down here, and we've always been very appreciative of his efforts. Volunteers who come for that length of time are very dedicated to our mission."

Mr. Reed also volunteered at his children's schools — Notre Dame Preparatory School, which his daughters attended, and Loyola High School, where his sons were students and he was an active member of the Father's Club. For years, Mr. Reed prepared the crab soup served at Blakefield's annual crab and bull roast.

Mr. Reed, a lifelong communicant of Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church, where he was a Eucharistic minister, served on the parish council, the legislative committee and the Cardinal Campaign. He and his wife volunteered as marriage preparation counselors working with engaged couples from the parish.

An avid baseball, lacrosse and football fan, Mr. Reed enjoyed going to Colts, Ravens and Orioles games. He coached youth baseball for many years for the Towsontowne Recreation Council.


"His favorite all-time baseball player was his cousin Ron Swoboda, who played for the New York Mets," Mrs. Carlson said. Through Mr. Swoboda, Mr. Reed and his family were able to meet such baseball legends as Casey Stengel, Yogi Berra, Nolan Ryan and Tug McGraw.

"Most of my relatives in Baltimore were for the Orioles and not really the Mets, even though I got World Series tickets for them," Mr. Swoboda, now a sports broadcaster, said with a laugh.

"DC was a huge baseball fan, and he collected all the clippings he could about me and created a shrine to me in his home," said Mr. Swoboda, who now lives in New Orleans. "He made me feel special and it was a real compliment. He's always been very important to me."

Mr. Reed spent his entire life in the Highland Avenue home in which he grew up.

"He treated everyone like family and his family like friends. Everyone was always on the same level," said a son, Barry Reed of Orange, Calif.

"It was impossible to go into a grocery store because he knew everyone who worked there and most of the customers," his son said. "He was an old-fashioned gentleman who stood when women entered the room and pulled out chairs for them. He taught this to his grandsons."

Mr. Reed liked to prepare gourmet Italian meals for family and friends. He enjoyed fishing, crabbing, gardening and vacationing in Ocean City.

Mr. Reed and his wife went to Rome in 1994 to witness the elevation of William H. Keeler, the archbishop of Baltimore, to cardinal.

A Mass of Christian burial was held Friday at his church.

Also surviving are his wife of 56 years, the former Patsy Mountain; another son, Jerry Reed of Scottsdale, Ariz.; two other daughters, Brigid Reed O'Brien Slavin of Potomac and Kerry Reed Hayward of Glyndon; a brother, Jim Reed of Bradenton, Fla.; a sister, Carolyn Boniface of Randallstown; and 16 grandchildren.

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