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Obituary for Nancy Jane Reid

Nancy Jane Reid
Nancy Jane Reid (Boyd)
June 20 1926 – December 18 2017

Nancy Reid passed away recently at the age of 91. Predeceased by her husband Dr. James Duncan Reid after 63 years of marriage and her sisters Mary, Eleanor and Carol, she leaves behind Bruce (and Nushy), Peter (and Kim) and Wendy (and Peter), and four grandchildren Sarah, Christie, Madlen and Olin. Her life’s work and passion focused on her children and their careers as well as on the arts and cultural life around her.

She grew up in the Beach, in Toronto, attended Malvern Collegiate, studied piano and graduated from UofT Victoria College with a BA in music history. During WWII, in high school, she served as a Farmerette, in the Niagara Peninsula and as an undergraduate, spent two summers in Saskatchewan, as a United Church student minister. She travelled the circuit by horseback or bicycle and taught swimming in summer camps. She met James Reid during orientation week at university, married him on Christmas Eve 1948 and spent their first eight years in Wyoming Ontario with Jim in general medical practice. She sang in Jeanne’s All Girls’ Choir and attended the inaugural and subsequent seasons of the Stratford Festival. When Jim’s medical career took the family to Port Credit, she joined the University Women’s Club, elected president in the 1960’s, and participated enthusiastically in the local Great Books’ Club.

Most significantly, she took up the viola, to complete the family string quartet, studying with Mary McGeer, Beverley Spotten and Rivka Golani. This fueled her involvement in the founding and ongoing support of the Mississauga Symphony, where she collaborated closely with Dr. Boyd Neel and his successor John Barnum to ensure the future of the fledgling enterprise. She and her family were also active in Patrick Burroughs’ Bach Youth Ensemble facilitating tours across Canada and in France.

In 1982, she followed Jim to Saudi Arabia for his work. While there, she travelled to London to train in English as a Second Language, later becoming a global tourist, visiting friends from the expat communities in Saudi. When Jim retired to Toronto, she reconnected with local amateur chamber music groups, and became a regular presence at festival and season’s performances in the arts. She found or re-found friends within a network of enthusiastic collaborators wherever she went.

Nancy’s charisma generated a warm glow for all who knew her. She took great pride in the academic, cultural and business accomplishments of her children and grandchildren. They owe her much for her devotion to them. As well, her leadership as a community entrepreneur in the arts encouraged careers and stable institutions and her dedication as an amateur musician inspired many. Donations in her memory should be sent to the Stratford Shakespearean Festival Endowment Fund, the Festival of the Sound and the Mississauga Symphony. A Celebration of Life event is being planned for the spring, 2018.

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