R.I.P. Paul Reed: Vermont Loses a Racer

On April 10, Paul Reed, a ski racing stalwart in Vermont, passed away unexpectedly. 

If you asked friends of Paul Reed what their favorite memory of Paul might be, there would be a long pause, followed by, “Where do I start?” Some would recollect Paul driving around the back roads of Stowe to his construction sites with his fluffy white sidekick, Chester, the dog.

Others might recall his lust for speed, or his affection for his family, or his commitment to the Mount Mansfield Ski Club. Inevitably, his boisterous laugh would be mentioned as he pounded on the end of a spoon, sending it skyward, or equally memorable might be a sensitive comment or an insightful conversation. There were many sides to Paul Reed.

His dynamic presence and boundless enthusiasm were evident to all who met him. He directed that energy into his ski racing and soccer prowess as an athlete at Holderness School and later at Middlebury College. He might have given his coach, John Bower, apoplectic fits, but by his senior year at college he was captain of the team, winning Carnival races, and a contender at the NCAA Championships.

After college, Paul made his mark as a ski coach, first at Stratton and later with the Mount Mansfield Ski Club. He left all of his charges and fellow coaches with an enduring respect and many colorful stories – tales of frugality, “watering” bamboo gates to ice them into the snow, and his commitment to their wellbeing. He relished running into his former ski racers and coaching staff many years later, and taking the time to catch up on their lives. Under Paul’s watch, ski racing took discipline and commitment, but there was no mistaking that it was fun.

The fact that the celebration of Paul’s life will be held at the Spruce Camp base lodge and donations in his memory are to be made to the ski club’s Education Foundation is a tribute to his dedication. In 1975 Paul became the head coach of the program, and then club director and ultimately president during his 35-year association with MMSC. It was at this time that he was influential in moving the club to its new location, and establishing the new racing venues on Spruce Peak.

Paul’s departure leaves a huge vacuum for his family and friends. He was a loving father, who made friends easily and made it a point to keep those friendships active and vital. We are all fortunate that our lives intersected with Paul, and we are all the richer, as a result. He lived a life well worthy of celebration.

To honor the life of Paul Reed, who died unexpectedly on April 10th, his family and friends are holding a celebration of his life at the Spruce Camp Base Lodge @ Stowe Mountain Resort on April 30, 2016 at 1:00 pm.

Donations should be made in his memory to: The C Paul Reed Memorial Fund c/o The Mount Mansfield Ski Education Foundation at 403 Peak Road, Stowe, VT 05672.

Lisa Lynn

Editor of VT SKI + RIDE and Vermont Sports. Loves skiing, riding, cycling and anything that can keep her outdoors, 356 days a year.