ImageITHACA – A teacher, clerk, notetaker, poet, orator, and Mother of Calvary Baptist Church, were only a few ways to describe the life of Mother Anita Reed, who during the early morning hours of Friday November 27, 2009, went to be with her Lord and Savior. Mother Reed was born on December 17, 1919 in Ithaca, the daughter of the late Archie Wilson and Pearl Johnson, she was the oldest of three children and a lifelong member of Calvary Baptist Church.

After graduating 3rd in her class from Ithaca High School, she went to Washington, DC and worked for the government during War World II. Upon returning to Ithaca, she married LeRoy S. Reed who passed away in 1992. Together they had two children, LeRoy S. (Elizabeth) Reed II and Cassandra (Alvin) Nelson. She began working at Cornell University in the History Department where she worked for almost forty years until her retirement in 1985; she was the first African American Administrative Assistant at Cornell University.

While raising a family and working full time, she continued to be actively involved in the church and made sure her children were active as well. Her community involvement includes a lifetime membership to PTA (Parent Teachers Association), various committees to improve the quality of education for students in the Ithaca City School District. She was a published poet and on the Board of Directors for Gadabout for several years.

She was on the Southside Community Center Board of Directors for years and took the minutes when the Center was dedicated by Eleanor Roosevelt under the Director of James Gibbs.  In addition to her previously mentioned involvement, she was a member of the Ithaca chapter of NAACP and served as a Girl Scout Troop leader for the Southside Community Center. While in Kentucky, she became a member of First Baptist Church of Pewee Valley, in Louisville, Kentucky – Rev. Michael E. Jackson – Pastor.

Mother Reed has ten grandchildren LeRoy S. Reed III, Kim Reed, Jamila Hadden, Christopher Hadden-Nelson, Stephanie (Aaron) Lovett, Michael (Kim) Nelson, Melissa (Pat) Grzywinski, Roland (Marybeth) Lencioni, Alvin (Nichele) Nelson II, Gaye Blackwell; she has 21 great- grandchildren; a host of nieces and nephews. Mother Reed is also predeceased by her sister, Marjorie Miller and a nephew, Jeffrey Rollins.

Friends and family may call Thursday from 5 p.m. until time of 8 p.m. Prayer Service at Calvary Baptist Church. Funeral Services will be at 11:00 a.m. on Friday at the Church with the Rev. Nathaniel Wright officiating. Burial will follow Pleasant Grove Cemetery in Cayuga Heights. If desired, memorials may be made to Expansion Fund at Calvary Baptist Church 507 N. Albany St., Ithaca.