Wayne Reed, the former CEO and owner of Northeast Plumbing in Mineola, died Sept. 21 in Stuart, Florida. He was 78.
Reed, formerly of Bayville and Manhasset, was in hospice care at Treasure Cove Hospice due to complications from congestive heart failure, according to his daughter Jean Lynch.
“He kept fighting until the end,” said Lynch. “He was a big, big giver.”
Lynch said that it’s easy for business owners to just give money to charities, but her father loved participating in various local causes like Toys for Tots, donating and participating in golf outings, and volunteering for food pantries.
When asked to describe her father in one word, she said, “He’s a tough one to describe.”
“I am 70 years old and have met many people in my life but I think God broke the mold when he brought Wayne Reed into this world,” Frederick Bedell, a former employee of Reed’s, wrote in a letter.
The company is now owned by Reed’s daughter Laura Weimer with her partner, Jimmy Simpson, after Reed’s retirement, Bedell said. Bedell said he is still a part-time employee at Northeast Plumbing.
Bedell said that he had known Reed since 1980 when the company was still in Great Neck. Working for Reed, Bedell said he did not feel like any employee, but family. Reed even helped him with financial troubles, Bedell said
“Those he employed he treated like family. Wayne also believed in giving second chances and more to employees that made mistakes and that I can attest to,” Bedell said. “He often said to me. ‘Fred I think of you like a brother, so do right by me.’ Wayne over the years often helped me with my various financial problems, which I don’t know many employers would have done the same.”
“He was a big man at six foot five but had a heart bigger than his height that did shine. Last Christmas he sent me a Christmas card that read, ‘Fred, thanks for being a good friend and thank you for the years,’” Bedell said.
A celebration of Reed’s life will be held at the Historic Chapel in Woodbury Oct. 20 at 11:30 a.m.
In addition to Lynch and Weimer, Reed is survived by his wife, Catherine Wolfe, his son Wayne, his daughter Teri McGuire, his grandchildren Lindsey, Andrew, Nicholas, Christina and Ryan, his great-grandchild Connor, and his nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, Reed’s relatives are asking for donations to Treasure Cove Hospice, which took care of Reed.