Robert E. Reed, 88, helped design the Star Wars missile defense system, dog lover

By on September 13, 2017

Robert E. Reed, 88, entered Heaven on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017, after a long illness.

He would have celebrated a 66th wedding anniversary with his wife, Ellen E. Reed, on Sept. 1. He was born in Durant, Okla., to the late Madrid and Ruby (Weddington) Reed.

He was a resident of Moravian Manor, where his wife still resides. Loved and respected by all who knew him, he will truly be missed by his family.

Employed as an engineering leader and manager at RCA which later became General Electric, and Burle Industries, Bob was responsible for the design of unique super power tubes, including a couple of patents to his name. He was involved in the design of the secret Star Wars missile defense system in the 1980s, and developed a tube that was used in AWACS systems in military surveillance aircraft.

He received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Okla., and a master’s degree in physics from Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster. He was a member of two honorary societies: Sigma Pi Sigma for physics and Eta Kappa Nu for engineering. He was beloved by his coworkers.

After retirement, he obtained his real estate license and worked with his wife at Ellen Reed Realtor. Active in his church, he sang in the choir and taught adult Sunday school classes for many years. He was a faithful and devoted member of Covenant United Methodist Church, and more recently, Highland Presbyterian Church. He was active in his grandchildren’s lives as they grew up, and cherished the family’s dogs over the years.

Bob is survived by his wife: Ellen; and his daughter: Virginia (Giny), wife of Robert Mackey of Lancaster; and his three grandchildren: Philip Mackey of Baltimore, Md.; Jason Mackey of Lancaster; and Alison, wife of Tyler Gillmen of Hershey.

Friends will be received on Saturday, Sept. 16, from 10 to 11 a.m., at Highland Presbyterian Church, 500 E. Roseville Road, Lancaster, with the memorial service to follow at 11 a.m. Interment will be private.

Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice & Community Care, 685 Good Drive, Box 4125, Lancaster, PA 17604-4125; or Highland Presbyterian Church, 500 E. Roseville Road, Lancaster, PA 17601,.

To send an online condolence, visit SnyderFuneralHome.com. Charles F. Snyder Jr. Funeral Home & Crematory, Lititz, handled the arrangements.

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