Lewis P. Reade

Lewis P. Reade, of Placitas, New Mexico, died on December 17, 2019, attended at bedside by his family, following a long illness. He was 87.

Lew Reade was born on November 1, 1932 in Brooklyn, New York, to Dorothy and Herman Reade, and spent his high school and college years in Miami, Florida. He graduated from the University of Miami in 1953 with a degree in mechanical engineering. Following graduation, he served in the United States Army stationed at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds, where he worked on the development of atomic cannons. After his military service, he held a number of field engineering positions, and in 1966, Mr. Reade became Vice President of Westinghouse Learning Corporation. In the early 1970s, he was a senior executive at Tyco Laboratories and Kellett Corporation.

Starting in 1973, Mr. Reade devoted his career to public service. That year, he became CEO of Big Brothers Association and, in 1977, presided over its merger with Big Sisters International, a women-run organization, to form Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. In 1981, he entered the Foreign Service as a senior officer in the United States Agency for International Development, where he remained until his retirement in 1997. During his distinguished career at USAID, he served as Mission Director in Kingston, Jamaica; Jakarta, Indonesia; and Amman, Jordan. He also was the first Director General of the US-Asia Environmental Partnership. After retiring, Mr. Reade consulted in the international development field for various clients and participated actively in the greater Albuquerque community. He volunteered on the boards of the local Big Brothers Big Sisters and Civitan International organizations, among others.

Mr. Reade was an avid lover of the arts and local history and was especially fond of classical music. Among his last words were, “I love Mozart.” Friends and colleagues describe him as “a great gentleman and compassionate leader,” “a leader and champion of Big Brothers Big Sisters,” “insightful, determined, and always interested,” “a great man [whose] work supporting the emergence of free markets and economic growth throughout the developing world will always be remembered,” and “a kind and engaging man with incredible ability, wit, knowledge and strong character.”  He is survived by Margaret Ann (Peggy), his wife of 51 years, three sons, four grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and many other loving family and friends.

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