Carlton Day Reed, 82: Business and political leader

  • Mail this page!
  • Delicious
  • 0

WOOLWICH — Carlton Day Reed, 82, died Dec. 8 of complications due to Alzheimer’s disease. 

He was born Aug. 11, 1930 to Carlton Day Reed Sr. and Louise Hinchey Reed in Bath. Known to all as “Bud”, he grew up in Days Ferry attending the one-room schoolhouse in the neighborhood with his sisters Mary Lou, Hopestill and Hepzibah. Reed graduated from Morse High where he was a standout athlete in football, hockey, and baseball. He took a post graduate year at Governor Dummer Academy in Byfield, Mass., before entering Colby College in 1949. Bud majored in history and excelled at athletics. In his senior year at Colby, Reed captained the football and hockey teams.

He married Helen Elizabeth Cummings, of Bath, while still a student at Colby.  They were high school sweethearts and celebrated more than 60 years of marriage together.

The couple traveled the world, visiting six continents and experiencing many different cultures and places. 

Upon graduating from Colby in 1953, Reed joined his father in the family construction business, Reed & Reed, as a partner. He was a driving force as the company continued to prosper primarily building bridges throughout Maine. He served as president until 1986 then as chairman of the board through 2010. He was chairman emeritus at the time of his death.

He won a seat in the Maine House of Representatives in 1958 and was elected to the Maine Senate in 1962 and re-elected in 1964. He was chosen by his peers as Senate President in 1965-66, the first Democrat in 54 years to hold this position. And he served two more terms, one as minority leader. He was proud of his leadership in passing legislation to help clean-up Maine’s polluted rivers. In 1966, he ran unsuccessfully in the Democratic primary for governor.

Following his career in politics, he was appointed a trustee of the University of Maine system and a member of the Maine State Board of Education. He joined the boards of Canal National Bank, Key Corp. and Central Maine Power Company where he rose to the position of chairman of the board from 1991-1995. He was profiled in the Wall Street Journal as a leading example of the independent role an outside chairman should play.

Reed lived all of his life in Days Ferry, serving the Days Ferry Congregational Church in various capacities including deacon, trustee and treasurer. He could often be found walking the shores of the Kennebec River with his loyal dog Mallie.

Never one to sit idle, he spent his leisure time on building projects, including an 80-foot covered bridge, a gazebo, and a cottage on “Bud’s Island,” located in Merrymeeting Bay. Much of the work on the latter was done while he was recuperating from a broken hip. Reed was also active in the Woolwich Historical Society, serving as its president and helping write and publish a book, the “History of Woolwich, Maine.”

He had a large, loving family including six children, 19 grandchildren, 4 great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. He is survived by his wife, Helen Elizabeth Cummings Reed, of Woolwich; a sister, Hepzibah Powers, of Kittery; a son, Thomas, of Woolwich; five daughters, Prudence Kraft, of Falmouth, Susan Parker, of Woolwich, Hopestill Spillane, of Darien, Conn., Abigail Reed and Mary Fitzgerald, both of Falmouth.

A memorial service was held Dec. 14 at 11 a.m. at the Days Ferry Congregational Church in Woolwich. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Days Ferry Congregational Church, P.O. Box 103, Woolwich, ME 04579 or to the C. D. Reed Alzheimer’s Research Fund, The Jackson Laboratory, Attention: Joanne Bean, P.O. Box 254, Bar Harbor, ME 04609-0254. A gift may be made online at –

Sidebar Elements