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James Reda
B: 1953-01-18
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1176 Main Street
Fairfax, VT 05454
Phone: 802-849-6261
Fax: 802-849-6262
James Reda

James Richard Reda

Sunday, January 18th, 1953 - Sunday, July 12th, 2020
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Obituary

James Richard Reda, 67, passed peacefully in his wife Ann’s arms July 12, 2020 at his home in Jericho, Vermont. He was surrounded by family.

Jim was born January 18, 1953, in Rochester, NY, to Louis and Constance (Darrah) Reda. He was an amazing man: humble, creative, independent, and generous of spirit.

A 1971 graduate of Edison Technical and Industrial High School, he was class president and prime prankster. With certificates from Rochester Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon, and MIT, Jim was a mathematical and technological genius. As an inventor and engineer, he held seven patents and, as a successful entrepreneur, founded, built, and served as leadership for 35 years at Videk Corporation, a leading printing and vision systems provider based in Fairport, New York. In 1987, Jim and his team produced the world’s first megapixel camera in partnership with Eastman Kodak Company. As a personal project in 2017, he combined his love of music and optics to design, craft, and program a device that reads, records, and converts player piano rolls to MIDI files. Jim’s player piano scanner was exhibited across Vermont.

Throughout his life, Jim was an active mentor and teacher. After moving to Vermont in 2006, he spent eight summers teaching technology and photography to teens at the Vermont Governor’s Institute of Technology, Design, and Coding. Working alongside his wife Ann, he also volunteered as a photographer and mentor to college students and youth in El Salvador and St. Lucia for BREAKAWAY – an initiative teaching youth respectful approaches to conflict and gender in order to address violence against women and girls. Following Jim’s cancer diagnosis in 2017, he taught skiing as a volunteer in the Vermont Adaptive Ski Program and as a coach for the Vermont Special Olympics. Being part of each mentee’s delight and growth brought Jim profound happiness.

Jim had many interests and talents, including photography, carpentry, woodworking, piano and accordion playing, travel, and dominoes. An avid bicyclist, in 2004 he soloed across the country, making many friends and persevering despite being injured by a motorist lobbing an apple (thus, gaining the trail name, “Popeye Arm”). Everyone who knew Jim knew him as a man full of energy, laughter, and love.

While on his 2-and-a-half-year cancer journey, despite knowing the eventual outcome, Jim was never angry or sad. Instead, he infused life with wonder. At one point, fresh from surgery, he returned home and built a harp, then learned to play it. With a twinkle in his eyes and his ability to make people laugh, Jim brought joy, caring, and humor to all who cared for him—from the nurses and staff at UVM Medical Center’s oncology department and, later, his Hospice caregivers, to his students, siblings, and in-laws. Jim deeply loved his wife, sons, daughter-in-law, step-daughter, and grandchildren. This past winter, one of his greatest joys was giving his 4-year old granddaughter Satori her first ski lesson. Before leaving this world in July, he waited to see his second grandchild Enzo born.

Jim leaves behind his beloveds: wife, Ann DeMarle; 2 sons and 1 daughter-in-law, Peter Reda, and Patrick Reda and Emily Hathaway; stepdaughter, Tegan Pollak; 2 sisters and their spouses, Mary and Steve Kozlowski, and Cathy Reda-Cheplowitz and Jerry Cheplowitz; 2 grandchildren, Satori and Enzo Reda; many nephews, nieces, in-laws, and cousins; dearly loved friends; and his beloved Springer Spaniels, Addie, Bella, and Charlie (Tuna).

He is predeceased by his parents, Louis and Constance (Darrah) Reda, and his brother, Thomas Reda.

Per Jim’s wishes, a private ceremony will take place in Rochester, NY. A celebration of his life will also be held in Vermont next year.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in memory of his name, Jim Reda, to either the Vermont Adaptive Ski Program (https://vermontadaptive.salsalabs.org/makeadonation/index.html) or to the UVM Medical Center Oncology Nurse Education Fund. Checks for the latter can be mailed to the UVM Medical Center at 111 Colchester Ave, Given Courtyard, 3N; Burlington, VT 05401.
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Service Details

Per Jim’s wishes, a private ceremony will take place in Rochester, NY. A celebration of his life will also be held in Vermont next year.

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Private Condolence

Megan Randall

Posted at 03:47pm
Tegan and I grew up as childhood best friends. Tegan was like my sister and Ann embraced me like I was her second daughter, and I her like she was my second mom. I remember so vividly when Jim came into their lives. I will never forget the absolute outpouring of love, pride, joy, and wonder he had in his eyes for Ann and Tegan, from the very first time I saw him with Tegan and Ann, to the last day I spent having dinner with them in Vermont last year. I have never seen Ann so happy and beam with so much light, energy, and love as I have when she was with Jim. And I loved seeing how Jim lit up every time he talked about Tegan and how amazingly cool she is. Jim's love for his family reverberated from his every pore and never ever wavered. I will always be so grateful for all the love and joy he brought to Tegan and Ann during his life, and all the joy and love he will continue to bring them through his beautiful memory. Even though I only saw Jim once or twice a year over the last decade, he and Ann always made me feel so treasured and welcomed to come to their home for a lovely, spontaneous dinner with them and Tegan whenever I was in town, as if no time had passed since my last visit. I will truly miss Jim's infectious laugh that carried through rooms, his exciting stories that left me impatient to hear more, his humble genius and creative inventions, his fun and funny childlike nature and curiosity to learn about the world, and his gentleness and kindness that made everyone's life - and mine - all the richer. I love you, Jim. Thank you for all of the wonderfulness you have brought to me and so many others' lives.
CT

Christine Thomas

Posted at 02:19pm
Please accept my deepest condolences. I worked with Jim for many years at Videk and he was a wonderful colleague, a great travelling partner and someone who ALWAYS made time for me to answer my technical questions. Truly the patient professor, he would explain- with absolute excitement- the basics of optics, the concept and schematic of his digital player piano or how to take a piece of wood and mold it into a beautiful bowl. I am glad to say that I am the proud owner of a small bowl he generously gave to me. His artwork, his biking stories, that laugh.. a true gentleman and just one of a kind- he will be missed! My heart goes out to you and all the kids and his entire family. Sincerely, Christine Thomas
 
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Ann DeMarle Posted at 11:06pm

Thank you so much Christine. That is certainly Jim
WS

Wendi Stein

Posted at 12:10pm
Jim - with sparkly eyes, lover of people, ever-present, ever ready to smile, ever ready to celebrate humanity, ever ready to truly appreciate us simply. Thank you, Ann, for sharing how deeply you have loved one another and how traveling down a path you don’t want to go down can, nevertheless, be done with heart and soul and grace. Brian and I send our love.
 
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Ann DeMarle Posted at 11:04am

Thank you Wendi - big hugs.
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Ann DeMarle

Posted at 10:50pm
There really are no words for the deep pain...Jim is my soul, my heart, my lungs - is it no wonder our bodies are constructed right and left? When one loves so deeply, I think we exchange one lung for the other. This feels real and true:

Walk
—Julie Cadwallader-Staub (from her collection Face to Face)

Today I would walk away my grief
I would walk out my back door
through the deep woods
choose every northerly lane\seek a world that is beautiful, predictable,
rustworthy again

And when I fall in exhaustion and defeat
I hope some pale green arctic moss
will cushion my face
that the clear calm cold of ice
will numb me
and I will feel this grief no more.
SR

Shelley Richardson

Posted at 10:48am
Jim was one of a kind.....his eyes shared his love of life and mankind, his actions showed his never-ending courage and dedication, and his heart melted when he met you, Ann. How I wish more couples could unite, and by doing so ignite a light so bright as to change the world. The angels are rejoicing as he joins the team and now can look over us all. Sending love.
 
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Ann DeMarle Posted at 07:58pm

Thank you Shelley 💕
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