Jane Reid

Obituary of Jane Reid

Jane Reid’s life spanned an arc beginning on a farm in Belden, Mississippi to Oxford, Mississippi, to Columbus, Ohio and eventually settling in her beloved Charlottesville, Va. for the majority of her life. Twelve years ago, she moved to Charlotte, NC to be near her two sons and their families.


Born June 15, 1923 to Clark and Annie Adams, Jane graduated from the University of Mississippi in 1944.  There she met Starling Reid whom she married on March 15, 1945.


The couple lived in Columbus, OH from 1947 to 1949 where Starling pursued a PhD in Psychology. Upon earning his degree, the couple moved to Charlottesville where Starling served on the faculty of the University of Virginia.


Jane was the first female deacon at Westminster Presbyterian Church where she was a longtime member.  She was one of three founding members of the Community Children’s Theatre which was started in 1953.  Jane directed many plays, one of them MANY MOONS, at Clark Elementary School.  In the late 60s, Jane directed University League members and other adults in plays that toured both city and county schools.   In the early 1970s, she stepped up when no one else would to act as President of the Babe Ruth junior baseball league.


An avid and loyal fan of University of Virginia athletics, her motto was “any day is a good day to beat VPI”.   She rarely if ever missed a football game, having held season tickets for over forty years.   Her group took tailgating to another level.

Jane was known for her leadership of the annual midnight New Year’s Eve parade around the neighborhood. Once, upon hearing his high school teacher speaking of “these crazy people banging drums and blowing loud horns every year,” her son sheepishly admitted that “those crazy people” are his parents.


For 18 years, Jane served as the secretary for Charlottesville District judges George M. Coles and Herbert A. Pickford, each of whom she respected and adored.  The feeling was mutual.  Lawyers in the area all knew that to see the judge, first they had to go through Jane Reid.


She was dearly loved by many of her sons’ high school and college friends.  For each of them she was a second mother, a willing and trusted confidant and sometimes a joyful collaborator.


In the 1990s, as her grandchildren arrived, her focus shifted. They loved their “Deegie Jane/Big Jane” and she could always be found either playing with them on the floor or staying up too late reading a book.  She looked forward to the annual family beach trips where she taught her grandchildren charades, card games and how to work a crossword puzzle.


Jane was an ardent reader, a keen bridge player and she loved to travel the world, always making friends in every country she visited.


Jane died at Summit Place in Charlotte, peacefully with family by her side on November 5, 2020.  She is survived by two sons, Lyne Starling Reid, Jr., and his wife, Deanna Saylors Reid, and William Shannon Reid, and his wife, Karen Colwell Reid, all of Charlotte, NC; four treasured grandchildren, William Shannon Reid, Jr., and his fiancé, Kristina Berger, of Charlotte, NC, John Bennett Reid of New York City, Jane Reid Palacios, and her husband, Daniel, of Houston, TX, and Thomas Starling Reid of Boston, MA.


The family would like to thank the many wonderful caregivers that attended to Jane over the years.  Special thanks to Robbie Draughn, who loyally and lovingly, for 12 years in Charlotte, beautifully handled our “Big Jane’s” every need.  And to Joan Woodfolk of Charlottesville, who was Jane’s early caregiver and friend of the family.


A celebration of Jane’s wonderful life will be held at a later date. 


Memorial gifts can be made to the Lyne Starling Reid Undergraduate Research Conference at the University of Virginia, P.O. Box 400314, Charlottesville, VA, 22904-4314 or Hospice and Palliative Care of Charlotte, 7845 Little Street Charlotte, NC 28226.


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