Long-time IAVM member Robert U. “Bob” Reid, passed away Friday, March 30, 2018, in Wausau, Wisconsin. He was 86.
Bob loved to tell a good story, sharing (and hearing) jokes, the Chicago Cubs, and tapping his toes to Big Band and polka music. He was a “doer,” and an outstanding role model with an exceptional work ethic.
He was born June 12, 1931 in Minneapolis, to the late Robert S. and Meryl Reid. Bob grew up in the Edina-Morningside neighborhood, graduating from St. Louis Park High School in1949 and the University of Minnesota, class of 1953, earning a degree in Radio Speech. He was a member of Sigma Nu fraternity.
He married Eleanor “Elie” Weld on Feb. 2, 1962 in Minneapolis. She claimed sharing the date with Groundhog’s Day would ensure Bob couldn’t forget their anniversary. Together they raised two children, Fritz and Julie.
Bob’s professional career was centered on sports and entertainment management, enjoying a variety of notable roles.
While attending the U of M, he worked for the Athletic Department’s Intramural and Sports Information offices. After graduation, he was part of the Minnesota Centennial Commission’s publicity team. He became the publicity director for the Minneapolis Lakers basketball team from 1955-58, then joined Max Winter Attractions as an associate until 1963, where he provided public relations support for the Harlem Globetrotters, the Hawaiian State Fair and the Midwest Auto Show.
He became a partner with Padilla, Sarjeant, Sullivan and Speer Public Relations for four years, representing clients like the Grain Belt brewery and the Ice Follies. His connections led him to join the fledgling Minnesota North Stars, where he served as the team’s first administrative director from 1967-1972 and then became the Met Center building manager until 1985, expanding his duties to oversee the building that hosted not only the hockey team, but numerous rock concerts, the Barnham & Bailey Circus and the Ice Follies. He loved to talk about his experiences hosting the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and other major bands. During this time, he was involved with the International Association of Auditorium Managers, as it was known, serving on its board of directors and on various committees. His last career move found Bob working for the Vee Corporation organizing the Sesame Street Live stage shows as its director of booking from 1985-1997.
Bob’s interest in sports found him also serving for 42 years as the lead public address announcer for the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) state hockey, baseball, softball, football and wrestling tournaments; for the MSHSL as a baseball umpire; for the Western Collegiate Hockey Association as publicity director and lead statistician, and also as a statistician for the Minnesota Vikings. He was also part of a group — and one of the first coaches — that started the Edina Little League organization in the 1950s.
Bob and Elie lived in Edina until 2003, when they moved to Wausau to be closer to their daughter Julie and her family.
Bob’s volunteer work was extremely important and fulfilling to him. While living in Minnesota, he was part of the Edina Recycling Commission, VEAP, Edina-Morningside Church, Loaves and Fishes, Edina High School PTA, Walk for Mankind, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Friends of Edina Public Library and St. Alban’s Episcopal Church. After moving to Wausau, he was part of The Grand Theater board of directors, Friends of the Marathon County Public Library, St. John’s Episcopal Church and Mobile Meals.
As a former public relations man, he took great pleasure in collecting newspaper clippings for friends and family and keeping detailed travel diaries of the adventures he and Elie had traveling overseas to visit 46 countries and all seven continents.
Bob is survived by his son, Frederic “Fritz” Reid, partner Kim Forrest and son Forrest Hansen, Shingle Springs, Calif., daughter Julie Bliss, husband Jim, and children Reid Baker and Charlotte Bliss; siblings, older brother John M. “Jack” Reid, Seattle, Wash. and “baby” sister, Betty (Reid) Kuechle, Chanhassen, Minn, and nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife of 47 years, Elie, in 2009.
Fritz and Julie would like to thank the warm and supportive staff at Colonial Manor for taking such loving care of Bob over the past year.
A memorial will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 7 at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church, 330 McClellan Street, Wausau, with The Rev. Meredyth Albright officiating. Visitation with Fritz and Julie will be at 10 a.m. until the time of the service at the church, with a reception to follow.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum or St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church.