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Elsie Reed is 97!

By Ediror, 2014-02-17

Saturday, February 15 was a special day to celebrate. It was Elsie Reed's 97th birthday and 16 women met for lunch at Luigi's d'Italia Restaurant to do just that. Guests included her daughter Alyson and granddaughters, Jennifer and Amber.

Elsie has been an active member of the Anaheim community and over the years been a charter or founding member of most service organizations in the city. These include the Anaheim Arts Council, Anaheim Assistance League, Women's Division of the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce. Historic Society, the Red Cross House, Auxilla d'Arts,  and Harp Guild of the Pacific Symphony. Recently she added the Orange County Symphony Concerto Guild to her roster of charter organization and currently serves on that board. She is a walking history book on Anaheim, the service clubs and the arts community. She has been a mentor to many people over the years and openly and freely offers her sage advise whenever needed.

Elsie was born in Kansas City, Missouri on February 15, 1917 and grew up in Arkansas where she graduated from the University of Arkansas, and later taught school. A vacation in 1941 brought her to Southern California. Here she stayed and worked with Consolidated Aircraft for eight years, until her marriage to David Reed, in 1950. In 1954 they moved to Anaheim and in the same house they bought and where she still lives, they raised five children. She became active in their school activities and various groups for children from PTA, scouts, little league and ballet.

Over the years she has been recognized for her community service,  in 1974 with an Annie Accolade Award, 1989 with a Sarah Fay Pearson Humanitarian Award. In 1997 she was the Cypress College Americana recipient Anaheim Citizen of the Year and in 2005 she was Business Woman of Distinction Award from ABWA. The Red Cross - Margaret Atkins Memorial Heritage Preservation Award from the Anaheim Historical Society in 2011, followed,  and in 2012 Anaheim Beautiful recognized her with their prestigious Sally White Award.

Elsie's goal has been to make a difference and not just take up space, so volunteerism has been her answer. She insists that in order to stay 'young at heart' one must [1] keep the mind active [she is a voracious reader, bridge player and every day does at least one crossword puzzle] and [2] keep an open heart by volunteering and helping others. It was particularly poignant that the shirt she was wearing at the luncheon said ' I wear my heart on my sleeve'.

She has made a difference and joyfully done the work. So we get to celebrate with her now and know that she is already making plans for next year's birthday. Happy 97th, Elsie.

A gathering of friends.



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