SALAMANCA, N.Y. (WIVB) - Word of the arrest of his alleged killer on Friday came just hours after the Clymer School Superintendent was laid to rest in his southern tier hometown.
At Salamanca's United Congregational Methodist Church, about 300 people turned out to say goodbye to Keith Reed Jr. His father of the same name used to be the Mayor of Salamanca.
Keith's brother, Kevin Reed, said, "It's been devastating for my parents. They're 85-years-old. Yesterday was my dad's birthday. It's just been devastating for them."
Kevin is a former FBI agent and said, "Part of my regrets through this whole thing...he's my younger brother, I should've been there to protect him and I didn't do it."
Lydia Blide came all the way from Horseheads, NY where she went to high school with Reed's daughters four years ago.
"He was such a nice guy. He used my parent's business and services for many years and never once did anyone have anything negative to say about him," she recalled.
Rev. John Rough, Keith's friend and neighbor, said, "No matter what it was, a child, a teacher or a crossing guard, he made them feel that they were as important as anybody."
Just four years ago, Keith was in a motorcycle accident that left in a coma for months, but he fought his way back.
"And it just shows the toughness of of this kid and his character," Kevin said. "If he was not taken by surprise, he would've fought, so I'm assuming that he was taken by surprise, but I know nothing about the investigation."
Saturday afternoon is the homecoming game at Clymer Central, and all the football players will have Keith Reed's initials on their helmets in honor of this superintendent who made such an impression in only one year on the job.
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