Billy J. Reid ’59

Colonel Reid answered his final roll call on Monday, the 16th of May, 2022 and reported for duty to the Commander-in-Chief of the Universe, his Lord and Savior. Colonel Reid was born on the 6th of January, 1931 in Charlotte, North Carolina to the late Luther Reid and Stella Savage Reid.

He attended Dilworth Elementary, Alexander Graham Junior High, and Central High Schools, and was a graduate of Charlotte College (forerunner of UNCC) with an Associate’s Degree in Business, where he was Student Body President. After graduating from Davidson College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, he completed Harvard University’s Executive Seminar Program.

Colonel Reid was a graduate of the U.S. Air Force’s Squadron Officer, Air Command, and Staff and Air War College programs. During his 38 year military career, Colonel Reid attended professional military courses at the Air University, Maxwell AFB, AL; Bolling AFB, Washington, D.C.; and the National Defense University, Norfolk, VA. His military decorations include the United States Legion of Merit, the United States Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, and many other military decorations. He was also the recipient of two George Washington Gold Medals from the Freedom Foundation of Valley Forge, PA.

Colonel Reid was the only person to ever serve as a military aide to both a North Carolina Democratic Governor (Scott) and a Republican Governor (Martin). He was also a member of the Korean War Veterans Association and Post 2423 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, as well as a member of the Air Force Association and the Military Officers of America Association. He was a former Vice President of the North Carolina National Guard Association and its 14,000 members.

In addition to a long and distinguished military career, Colonel Reid enjoyed a career in business, retiring as Vice President of the North American Packaging Division of Rexham Corporation, a Bowater UK company. During his time with Rexham, he traveled to Canada, throughout the U.S., and to Puerto Rico, and served as Chairman of the Industrial Relations Committees of the Washington, D.C.-based Paperboard Packaging Council and National Flexible Packaging Association.

His activity in civic affairs included serving as a member of the Charlotte Clean City Committee and as a Director of the Community Health Services organization. He also served as President of the UNCC Alumni Association and was a member of the Charlotte Optimist Club. From 1994 to 2006, Billy led more than 30 mission teams to Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean Islands, and South Dakota, building and repairing churches and conducting Bible schools and crusades. He was a member of the Carpenters for Christ teams that worked in Argentina, Bolivia, and Costa Rica. He also worked with the NC Baptist Men’s Disaster and Recovery teams in the aftermath of floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes.

In his retirement, Billy served as a Director of the Living Well Foundation, the NC Korean War Veterans Association, the Carolina Cooperative Federal Credit Union, and the Parkview Community Foundation. He also served as Board Chairman and Executive Director of Jackson Park Ministries, which he and his wife, Naomi, helped to found in 1985. He also served as a Deacon at Eastway, Sharon, and Pritchard Memorial Baptist Churches.

Early in his life, he studied voice, and throughout his life, he performed as a baritone soloist in churches in the U.S. and other countries. Colonel Reid loved God, his family, and his beloved puppies, Jinx, Star, Beau, Susie, April, Coco, Wally, Sugar, Bella, Precious, Sheba, Princess, and Coco No. 2.

He was predeceased by his sister, Wanda Reid; brothers, Ralph Reid and Karl Reid; and his beloved grandmother, Lucy Savage.

He is survived by his wife, Naomi Bailey Reid; daughters, Kathy Reid and Becky Plemmons; sons, Tim Reid (Cheryl) and Mark Reid (Mitzi); granddaughters, Christina Melton, Candace Jaminski (James), Ashley Reid, Brianna Horne, and Kimberlee Walker (Mike); grandsons, Cameron Reid, Luke Van Every (Elizabeth), and Sandy Van Every (Lacey); great-grandsons, Maddox Washer, Brayden Washer, Noah Jaminski, Nathan Jaminski, Coltyn Lang, Cole Coronado, and Kane Coronado; great-granddaughters, Madilynne Jaminski and Emberleigh Lang; sister, Sandra Hayes; niece, Cindy Jentz (Jim); and numerous other family members and friends.

Friends are cordially invited to a visitation with the family from 12:00pm until 2:00pm on Saturday, the 21st of May, 2022 at Pritchard Memorial Baptist Church, 1117 South Boulevard in Charlotte.

The celebration of Colonel Reid’s life is to be conducted at 2:00pm, following the visitation, at Pritchard Memorial Baptist Church, where Rev. Bobby Morrow and Rev. Stan Houser are to officiate.

The interment will follow, via an escorted cortege, at Forest Lawn West Cemetery in Charlotte.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Colonel Billy Reid’s name to the ASPCA, Pioneers Missionaries, or to the Baptist Men’s Group at Pritchard Memorial Baptist Church.

The family wishes to thank all the medical personnel who provided their services to Colonel Reid, as well as to those who prayed, sent cards, and offered condolences.