CLYMER - Hundreds of Clymer community residents gathered to celebrate the life of Keith Reed Jr. on Monday.
A Celebration of Life ceremony was held at Clymer Central School, with friends, co-workers and local pastors sharing their thoughts about Reed, who was found dead outside his Clymer-Sherman Road home on Monday, Sept. 24. Pastor Carolyn Stow of Clymer United Methodist Church said she has heard many wonderful stories from community members about Reed's generosity and kindness.
Stow said it is astonishing how many lives Reed impacted in Clymer while being the district's superintendent for less than a year. She said, this past week, she has seen so many members of the community embracing each other during this time of morning.
''I have witnessed you picking one another up,'' she said. ''That is what Mr. Reed did for us. He lifted us up.''
Pastor Erin Beckerink of Clymer Hill Reform Church said Reed was known for enjoying life and spreading his excitement to others.
''He took every minute and lived it to the fullest,'' she said. ''Now, that is what he wants you to do too.''
The celebration of life included several testimonials from co-workers and friends. Sonja DuBois, Mike Schenck, Dan Lictus, Edward Bailey, Carole Siverling, Ray Shrout, Annette Rhebergen and Lant Lictus all spoke to the crowd, which included his family. They told of amusing anecdotes involving Reed, which either happened at school, his home or in the town. Schenck, school board member, said, even though Reed wasn't from Clymer, he quickly became entrenched in the community.
''The impact he made in a short time will last a lifetime,'' he said.
Bailey, acting superintendent and high school principal, said Reed had a great way of community to children, teenagers and adults.
''His communication skills were second to none,'' he said. ''It is a skill set few people have.''
Bailey said he spent a lot of time with Reed in their offices discussing school administration. He also got to know him outside of school, with one activity being golf, which Reed enjoyed doing.
''Mr. Reed was a colleague, and a great friend,'' he said. ''He was always fun to be around.''