obituary header
Welcome to the memorial page for

Damon Reed

March 27, 1940 ~ April 7, 2017 (age 77)

Damon “Pokey” Reed died peacefully at the Hospice of the Fisher Home in Amherst, MA, on April 7, 2017, due to complications from Parkinson’s Disease. She was 77 years old. 

 

Born March 27, 1940, into the North Conway, New Hampshire skiing family of Kay and Carroll Reed, Damon quickly became “Pokey” after the nurses took one look at her thick, black hair and nicknamed her “Pocahontas.” From the get-go, Pokey was a mountain girl through and through, and loved skiing, fly fishing, hiking, and canoeing with family and friends. At Camp Arcadia, at school, in the family business, and in the Kearsarge neighborhood where she grew up, she excelled in sports and outdoor fun, and reveled in the many friendships that took root and nurtured her throughout her life. 

 

Pokey Reed attended Walnut Hill School and then Connecticut College. In 1961, she married Don “Dee” Gardner Jr., graduated from Connecticut College in 1962 with a major in Government. Soon after moving to Williams College in Williamstown, MA, where Dee worked as a dean, their daughters, Rebecca and Elizabeth, were born, in 1963 and 1965, respectively. Pokey became active in the League of Women Voters, took center stage in many musical theater productions, and worked as a tutor in the Center for the Development of Economics. In 1969, the family enjoyed a year’s sabbatical in Kobe, Japan. Upon returning to the U.S., the family settled in Andover, MA, where Pokey taught writing and served as a house mother at Phillips Academy, and as Director of Alumni Relations and Board of Trustees at Walnut Hill School. 

 

Soon after her divorce in 1972, Pokey redirected her ample talents and energy into the corporate world of college textbook sales, first as a secretary and office manager in a small publishing firm and then at Addison-Wesley Publishing Company in Reading, MA, moving up the ranks as Editor, Southern Regional Sales Manager in Atlanta, and then National Sales Manager. Despite her frustrations at having to navigate the ever-present glass ceiling, Damon was a brilliant manager, skilled organizer, and creative force. 

 

After leaving Addison-Wesley in 1985, Damon traveled to Baffin Island in the Arctic by dogsled, lived and wrote in a cabin in the Maine woods, and then moved to Rocks Village, MA to become manager of the Wrubel Gallery and Assistant Director of Art for the Nature Company. She started her own businesses, Crossroads Consulting and The Fine Art of Marketing, as a way to enable connections and create possibility for others. Damon worked with several New England artists, including photographers John Wawrzonek and Arthur Griffin, and edited, with Herb Kenny, Arthur’s last book, ​New England in Focus: The Arthur Griffin Story​, in 1995.

 

A move back to Williamstown, MA in 1996 found Damon organizing special projects for the Clark Art Institute before signing on with the Development Office at Williams College in 1998. Damon worked tirelessly, first as Director of the Parents Fund, and then in Major Gifts. She also devoted much time volunteering for Hospice and Planned Parenthood. In 2007, she retired, and enjoyed an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Galapagos Islands and Ecuador with her daughters and sister, their families, and her best friend. In 2008, she walked the Susan G.

Komen 60-mile 3-Day Walk to raise money for breast cancer with her daughter Liz’s team, the Blue Footed Boobies. Damon continued to enjoy walking, gardening, art, writing poetry and prose, reading, spending time with her grandchildren, organizing neighborhood events, and hosting international students, friends, and family at her lovely Williamstown home. She moved into Loomis Village in South Hadley in 2015.

 

Throughout her life, and until the end, Damon was a natural beauty, inside and out -- tough and tender, generous, sweet, funny, intuitive, and so smart. As a mother and a grandmother, she was a maker of magic, a storyteller, a playmate, and a source of loving support to us all. During her final passage, she displayed her usual grit and fighting spirit, warmth and humor. She was an intrepid explorer, always, journeying through the outer limits of possibility -- and the challenges of aging -- with verve and grace. As she died, she entered into her own A​ ​ ​Story of Song​ -- which she adapted from an old West African tale -- and was “welcomed into a symphony of all song, all sound, and all life...Forever and ever, her song and all songs are held in each grain of sand and drop of rain; in each seed and flower; in the crackling fire, rolling thunder and whispering winds that ask us only to listen and remember."

 

Damon was predeceased by her sister Carol, and parents Carroll Reed and Katharine Damon Reed. She leaves her sister, Stefi Reed Hastings of Fryeburg, ME, and her daughters Rebecca Damon Gardner of Albuquerque, NM and Elizabeth Seward Gardner of Gill, MA. “Grammie Poke” is also beloved by her four grandchildren - Luke and Dominick Poulsen, and Isabel and Caroline Kuethe - and her nieces and nephews, cousins, and entire Damon/Reed tribe. 

With love and gratitude to all the family and friends who visited and sent love her way -- and to the incredible staff and volunteers at the Hospice of the Fisher Home in Amherst, MA, who took care of Mom -- and all of us -- during her final five weeks: your compassionate, skilled care, and loving kindness will stay with us forever. Thank you. 

A memorial service will be held this summer in the mountains of New Hampshire. Rooster Pooster! In lieu of flowers, please consider making a memorial gift to the Hospice of the Fisher Home, 1165 N Pleasant St, Amherst, MA 01002; online to Planned Parenthood at www.plannedparenthood.org; or to the National Parkinson’s Foundation, 200 SE 1st Street, Suite 800, Miami, FL 33131; http://www.parkinson.org.

Thank you for keeping Pokey’s song in your hearts and hums, for listening and remembering her beautiful spirit.

Arrangements are under the direction of Kostanski Funeral Home.

Sympathy message available at www.kostanskifuneralhome.com  


 Service Information

Services are to be announced


© 2017 Kostanski Funeral Home, Inc.. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS