“You just do what you say you’re going to do.” Sounds simple enough, but this philosophy is what Jack Reid credits to his success as a businessman in Lake Jackson for over 40 years. Most of us who grew up in Lake Jackson knew of Jack Reid’s appliances, but his impact on the community went well beyond providing us with appliances.
Originally from Illinois, a young Jack was making a trek out west to California in 1948 after serving in the military. He made a detour down south through the Brazosport area to visit with his mother and stepfather, who worked in Freeport as a brick layer. During his stay, a happenstance blind date with Henrietta Horak caused a change of plans! Jack and “Henri” were married in 1949, and decided to begin a life together in the city of Lake Jackson.
At that time, the City had a population of 1500, and Jack began his adventure into being a local business owner, starting with a masonry company. By 1951, he joined with 2 friends and began the Jack Reid lumber company, later selling out and starting Jack Reid appliances in 1954.
His outgoing, colorful personality made him known as a guy “who could talk to a rock and sell anybody anything”! And his children are quick to point out their father was the hardest worker they’ve ever known — never backing down from a long day at the store, and making sure customers were satisfied with their purchase.
Jack Reid felt so blessed to have been a successful businessman that he spent his life giving back to the community he loved. His son, Randal Reid, quoted his father, “I shouldn’t have all this, with my meager eighth-grade education. This community has been so good to me that every opportunity I have to give back, I grab it and run with it.’”
Besides being a former councilman and mayor of Lake Jackson, Jack was also a member of over 11 organizations throughout his lifetime, and a Charter member of many. He was inducted into the Brazoria County Business Hall of Fame; and on March 15, 2010 he was honored with “Jack Reid Day” by the Lake Jackson City Council.
He managed to balance his busy schedule with time for leisure activities as well. One of the organizations he helped charter was Riverside Country Club, as he was an avid golfer. He took off every Wednesday afternoon to head to Riverside and play a round of golf with his friends. Playing cards was another activity he enjoyed and said he was ready for a poker game “anytime, anywhere”!
Jack Reid was known for his character of hard work and integrity. Former Lake Jackson City Manager Bill Yenne said “He was a very, very important man in our community. He was a great guy. When you think of the word gentleman, that’s Jack Reid. He was a remarkable man.”
He passed away on August 1, 2015 at the age of 89, having shaped the city of Lake Jackson with his leadership and service. What great fortune came to our city when such a hard-working, thoughtful, honest, creative man decided to make Lake Jackson his hometown.
by Frances Hammond