Harry F. Reid Jr.

Harry F. Reid Jr., who was internationally known for his work with synthetic lubricants, died Nov. 17 of pneumonia at Carroll Hospice's Dove House in Westminster. He was 96.

Harry Fairfax Reid Jr. was born and raised in Baltimore and graduated in 1935 from the Polytechnic Institute. He earned a bachelor's degree in 1938 from Swarthmore College, where he was also an All-American lacrosse player.


In 1940, he was commissioned a lieutenant in the Army Reserves. Later that year, he volunteered for active duty and was sent to the Ordnance Training Center at the Aberdeen Proving Ground.

He was later transferred to Fort Bragg, N.C., where he was responsible for developing the Army's first igloo, a portable structure that was the prototype of the Army's current Modular Command Post System. For his work, he was awarded a commendation from the Commanding General, I Corps.

He spent the remainder of World War II in command of ordnance units in training for field service and later served with the headquarters staff of the 4th Army. At the time of his discharge in 1946, he was stationed at Okinawa.

After the war, Mr. Reid went to work for the Standard Oil Co. at its old Canton refinery. In 1952, he was transferred to the company's Bayway refinery in Elizabeth, N.J., where he was in charge of supply and distribution for the Chemical Products Division.

In 1962, he joined Hatco Corp., a manufacturer of organic chemicals. While working there, he became internationally known for his work with synthetic lubricants, especially those used in jet engines. He was a vice president of Hatco at the time of his retirement in 1986.

He was a former director of the Oil Trades Association of New York and of the Independent Lubricant Manufacturers Association. He was also a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers, the Society of Tribologists and Lubricating Engineers, the National Lubrication Grease Institute and the American Society for Testing Materials.

Mr. Reid continued in his retirement to serve on the editorial board of the International Journal of Synthetic Lubrication.

He lived in Westfield, N.J., from 1952 until 1986, when he moved to Towson. Since 2000, he was a resident of the Blakehurst Retirement Community in Towson, where he was an active member of the Residents Association, serving as its treasurer and chairman of the finance committee. He also played a pivotal role in the establishment of the Blakehurst Scholarship Fund, which provides college scholarships to Blakehurst employees.

Mr. Reid was a member of Second Presbyterian Church, where he was an elder and member of the pastor nominating committee. He also was a life member of the Salvation Army's Baltimore Area Advisory Board, a member of the St. Andrew's Society and a member of the St. George's Society. He had been a board member and treasurer of the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House.

His wife of 31 years, the former Elenor Gibson Phipps, died in 1973. In 1974, he married the former Margery McShane Kraus, who died in 2012.

Services are private.

Mr. Reid is survived by two daughters, Anne Reid Townsley of Westminster and Elenor Gibson Reid of Farmington, Conn.; a stepson, Anthony W. Kraus III of Baltimore; a stepdaughter, Margery Kraus Bessent of Baltimore; two granddaughters; and two great-grandchildren.