Tempe Telfer Gerard Reith, 76, of Easton, CT and Shelter Island, NY passed away on Monday, February 18, 2013 at St. Vincent’s Medical Center, Bridgeport, CT after a brief illness.
She was born in Boston, MA to Sanford and Mildred (Telfer) Gerard. Tempe graduated from the Lenox School and Finch College in New York City and after raising five children she graduated from The University of Bridgeport, Bridgeport, CT.
Tempe met the love of her life in New York City, Edward Bennett Reith, and they eloped on March 2, 1957 and thereafter were of great support for one another until her death.
There will be a memorial service at Parish of Christ’s Church, Easton, CT at 11:00 am on March 2, 2013.
Tempe was a lifelong avid reader, bridge player and dog lover. She raised Golden Retrievers under the kennel name Arcadia where it was not unknown for her to have 22 puppies, 2 dogs and 5 little children underfoot!
Tempe was an accomplished knitter and kept her family and friends wrapped in warmth from her efforts. She loved the ocean and in her early years spent many summer days in Amagansett swimming. Tempe taught all her children, and some dogs, how to swim safely in the ocean and to appreciate the outdoors having summered in Eastern Long Island since early childhood and since 1954 in Shelter Island.
Tempe enjoyed many successes over her career and with each position she held was promoted and given greater responsibility. In her early marriage she worked at the Ferguson Library in Stamford, CT, and later moved up the ranks at the HR department at McKesson’s Laboratories. At her retirement, she was the Director of the IDEAL Program with the University of Bridgeport and helped scores of adults obtain degrees and pursue their goals in life. She was admired and loved by both the students and faculty and made many dear friends through the years.
Tempe had been active in the League of Women Voters and the Choir at the Parish of Christ’s Church while she was raising her children and she was also a member of the Republican town committee in Easton.
Those left to cherish her memory are her husband, Edward Bennett Reith, son Russell Reith and wife Aiping, of Monroe, CT, daughters Amelia Gabriel of Lisbon, NH, Sarah McArthur of Roswell, NM and Anne Reith of Easton, CT. She is also survived by four grandsons, Nicholas Edward Reith of Austin, TX, Adam James Drozdowski and wife Mandy of Derby, CT, Dylan Thomas McArthur of Roswell, NM and Edward Gerard Reith of Monroe, CT, and granddaughter Si Min Cai of Pittsburgh, PA.
She was preceded in death by her parents, and her son Gerard Bennett Reith.
Tempe is beloved to all her children and grandchildren and is already deeply missed by Ed, who always considered her his rock.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that you make a donation to the charity of your choosing in her name.
—by the family