On the passing of our dear friend Reed Taylor (Seagator)

Continuing the discussion from Friends of Reed Check in Here:

It’s with a very heavy heart and a lump in my throat that I must tell you that @SEAGATOR1 passed away Friday August 5. Reed was truly a treasure here at TuDiabetes. If you joined TuD from 2009 to 2015 you surely got a personal message on your page from Reed, welcoming you to the family. You also may have gotten a “Happy Birthday” from him. Reed did not participate in the forums as much as he did commenting on others personal pages or posting pictures, unfortunately, thse are things that did not come with us when we migrated over to Discourse, and Reed wasn’t able to participate in his typical way.

I remember quite well the first few days he was a member. He was in his 80s and had lost a great deal of weight with the T.O.P.S. program and wanted to share his enthusiasm and positive messages that you could do it too. However, it took me a couple of weeks to get him to stop posting IN ALL CAPS. He’d never heard the general rule that in online communications, this is seen as shouting. Well, he was a bit stubborn…

Everyone active on TuD knew Reed. He got up early every day and welcomed every single new member who had joined us since the previous day. He’d send me a pm if someone new was very troubled or asking for specific help. He quickly became senior member of what was called “The Care Team”, something the Admin Team is still trying to figure out a work around. Soon, we’d exchanged emails and snail mails and I’d get cards on all the major holidays from Reed, as I know others here did too.

In 2010, my father’s health took a turn and it became evident he was dying, and Reed was a SOLID ROCK for me. I’ll never forget it. Reed was a strong Christian and observant Catholic and he comforted me and helped me heal some old wounds. A true friend indeed.

Reed was a good man and he was full of love to give, and we loved him back. If you’d like to hear what @askmanny has to say about Reed, watch this video about at minute 38 during our annual awards show
http://www.tudiabetes.org/video/tudiabetes-video-chat-2011/
(fresh tears*) when Reed won 2011 TuDiabetes Life Coach.

Services for Reed will be Saturday Aug 13 in Lexington MA

the obituary chronicles all his incredible life as a WWII Navy man, High School teacher and principal, community activist, and friend.

Please share any stories and pictures, I’d love to hear the ways Reed touched your life.

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As trite and overused as the phrase is, Reed really was a pillar of our community. No one was more determined when it came to making new members feel welcome, I don’t believe anyone had more friends, and no one was more open and unaffected about sharing what life was dealing out, diabetically and otherwise. To say he is missed is a ridiculous understatement. No one who had contact with him could fail to feel the loss. R.I.P., Seagator.

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Marie, Just hearing this news in this past hour and reading what you wrote, really touched my heart. You mentioned Tops and that brought back memories of when he first came here to Tud. It did not take long after that for him to work his way into our hearts as a true friend that cared for the whole community on Tud. I don’t mind saying that I Loved Reed the Gator and am sad we won’t be hearing from him anymore…But he is never going to be forgotten, not ever. He is woven into the fabric of Tud is how I see it. God Bless him ,he was so true to his faith ,never wanting to miss a Sunday Mass. It did not matter how ill he was, he was going to do his best to be there…and he did. I know he was up in age and I know he has been so ill and he has missed Russ so badly I am sure… I am going to try to think of him now in Heaven and being able to do all the things his broken body stopped him from doing on earth. He and Russ, what a team in Heaven. Jesus just got a pot of gold. Our sweet sweet friend from Tud. Our Gator. God Bless.

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Thanks for posting this up here Marie. I spoke to a friend of Tom’s yesterday on the phone when I called to speak with Tom. He mentioned that Tom would be e-mailing many of us who were close with Reed when he gets a moment. As many of us know, Reed was battling prostate cancer that had gotten into the bone as well as Parkinson’s. Chad (Tom’s friend) said that Reed had to enter hospice a few weeks ago but in typical Reed “Gator” fashion, he insisted to go home. Chad said he was not in any pain and passed peacefully holding Tom’s hand.
Even after not coming by this forum anymore, we stayed in touch. Similar to Marie, we’d exchange cards and e-mails. More recently, we fostered and adopted a baby girl. Reed said ‘she is my adopted granddaughter’ and would ask for pictures so I would send them weekly.
My morning routine was to get up and test my blood, then sit down and shoot Gator a message. We’d update each other on our lives. The past few weeks, there was no response. I knew it was time but, I continued to send the e-mails. I did a search for him yesterday and found out and called. This morning - there was a hole. I wasn’t quite sure what to do. I just stared at my screen and remembered his kindness and tough love and compassion. Now, I smile because I know he is at peace. Bless you Gator - you made me a better person.

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We didn’t get the pleasure to meet him, but from what I’ve read, his presence will be missed. Our thoughts are with his friends and family.

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oh so sorry to hear this Reed was a great friend to me and we had such a great friendship

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Yesterday I was looking for something to help someone here who suspects she may have Addison’s and I came upon what I knew to be the very last comments from our first pillar of the community, @saundra_barragan. Of course this got me thinking of @jrtpup and how I see them as our TuD angels and at that point I think I knew about @SEAGATOR1. Soon after, @Doug9 sent me a pm saying he’s gone. I am now going to think of the three of them up there as part of Heaven’s Welcoming Committee. Pillars of our community who will never be forgotten.

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Thank you again @MarieB for sharing this touching story and your beautiful connection to an incrdible person and community member. Thoughts and hugs.

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RIP, Reed. MarieB’s comment about him being a part of Heaven’s Welcoming Committee makes me smile.

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Reed was always our best ambassador when is came to welcoming new members, he took his Care Team Duties very seriously and he made lots of friends in the process. When I became a Care Team member I made a commitment to myself that I would do my best to welcome all new members. One thing I could always count on was that Reed was going to beat me to the punch, you had to get up very early to beat Reed. That was what was so great about him, it was always comforting to see him there before me. R.I.P. Seagator, we will miss you

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Reed was one of our most amazing ambassadors. Since I met him in mid-September 2012, as part of an east coast-long trip I made visiting many of our members, along with meeting a number our sponsors back then, I told everyone his story: how he’d wake up every morning and diligently go welcome new members to the community.

Here are some photos I took during my visit…

He humored me when I asked him if I could take a picture of him at the computer, on TuDiabetes:

We finished the visit with a nice meal at a nearby place:

The last time we spoke? I heard his voice a while back (2015 or even before). I called him for his birthday. He couldn’t hear me on the phone, and he got grumpy (classic Reed) because he thought it was a prank and hung up on me. :slight_smile:

Reed:
You were a good and kind hearted man, and someone who touched so many lives! I am glad TuDiabetes gave you the tools and support to help you make better sense of this crazy condition that binds us in this community, helping you bring your A1c (I will always remember how you said it) from 9.5% down to 5.9%.

And I am thankful that you then chose to dedicate SO MANY hours giving back to the community, welcoming new members, and wishing Happy Birthday everyone who was celebrating a birthday.

We know you are in heaven, with all the heroes that preceded you. Please keep a watchful eye over us from there, as you did while you were here.

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Ahh…so very sad. I saw him as a dad figure. He was compassionate and so supportive.
Forever keeping us in prayer. We frequently crossed each other’s path, he and I, when we greeted new members or sent out birthday wishes. It became a bit of a joke between us. Sigh…He was there for you…listening to your concerns. I sent him Christmas and birthday cards, as did he…he was “family”, and I miss him greatly.
His passing has created a big void.
Rest in peace dear Reed; my friend/dad/coach. Love and baskets of hugs…Linda :heart:

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Thought for a special man. He will be loved in heaven too.

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Reed once told me his life was made better because of TUDiabetes. I feel like we lost so much. It is great that we are posting a remembrance.

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Love & prayers to Gator & family :kissing_heart: AND the TuDiabetes family he touched

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Can’t write about this yet. Need to think and feel…Loved him from the moment he welcomed me, just as Marie explained. A terrible loss. And I have had just a few too many of late…

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I am truly saddened by the loss of Reed, but also at something that we lost in the transition from the old TuDiabetes ning platform. As @MarieB mentioned, Reed was a central part of our care team that wished members a happy birthday, that checked in on others (sometimes on a daily basis). And all this was done at a very personal level by making comments on a members personal comment wall (much like facebook). These comments were generally visible to members. Reed and others existed in this subcommunity that was greatly valued. Sadly we don’t really have that anymore on the new platform and if you look back we were unable to bring over the content from member comment walls. Make no mistake, even if you don’t see many posts by @SEAGATOR1, he made huge contributions to the community and help many members.

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I’m so sorry and sad to hear of Reed’s passing. I think he welcomed me too along with Phil, he was great, he was always so cheerful. My sympathies to his family and friends. He will be missed a lot.

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Sad news indeed. From my first day as a new member I was inspired by Read. His attitude and sincerity were both reassuring and undeniably genuine. As was he. I can’t count the number of times I have referred to Read when explaining to someone to kind of people who are here at TU. Reed was a wonderful example of living well and long with diabetes.

He is, and will long be missed.

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Thank you, Marie, for letting us know. Sorry to lose Reed. He was a very kind person. It warmed my heart to be welcomed by him when I joined TuD. And I enjoyed his comments a lot.

marty1492

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