Activist, advocate Jackie Reed – the passing of a Huntsville legend

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Huntsville advocate and activist Jackie Reed died Sunday. (Jackie Reed for Mayor via Huntsville)

There are some people who love their city so much that they devote their lives to making it better and keeping it great. That’s what Jackie Reed was to Huntsville.

Reed, who rarely missed a Huntsville City Council meeting and ran for office multiple times, passed away Sunday. She was 87 years old.

Huntsville loses a legend

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Jackie Reed ran for mayor eight times. (Jackie Reed for Mayor via Facebook)

Although Huntsville civic leaders did not always see eye-to-eye with Reed, they appreciated her advocacy and activism. Mayor Tommy Battle posted to social media Monday that Huntsville had lost “a legend.”

“We lost a Huntsville legend today. Nobody had a greater passion for our city than Jackie Reed. Her tireless advocacy for the citizens of the Rocket City was admirable. Her indomitable spirit and warm heart will be remembered by all of us at city hall.”

Mayor Tommy Battle

Reed’s daughter, Dee Reed, posted this to Facebook Tuesday:

“Mom loved the City of Huntsville and all the people. She was a loving, caring person that lived on principle and doing the right thing.”

Dee Reed, daughter of Jackie Reed

Reed ran for mayor nine times, and ran for Huntsville City Council eight times. Although she was never elected to public office, she had an impact on local politics.

“Right or wrong, Jackie always held true to her beliefs, and her love for Huntsville was never in question,” Battle added. “She will be missed.”

Paying tribute to Jackie Reed

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Funeral services for Jackie Reed will be held July 16. (Jackie Reed via Facebook)

In addition to her political involvement, Reed was also a vocal and visible member of our business community.

Reed attended Tennessee Tech University and worked for more than 25 years in the Aerospace industry. She owned a dress shop called Debra’s Clothesline and was a real estate broker. Reed also had her own television talk show and wrote a column called “One Woman’s Opinion” for the community newspaper Speakin’ Out News for more than 15 years.

She also worked part-time as a server at Barnhill’s and Ryan’s restaurants. In recognition of her dedicated service as a volunteer and community activist, she received the Rosa Parks Woman of Courage Award from the Huntsville/Madison County Branch Association.

Visitation will be on Friday, July 15 from 4PM to 8PM at Berryhill Funeral Home. Funeral service will be Saturday, July 16 at Berryhill Funeral Home at 11AM with visitation from 9AM to 11AM. Burial will follow at Maple Hill Cemetery.

What are some of your memories of Jackie Reed? Feel free to share them! And follow Hville Blast on FacebookTikTok and Instagram, and be sure to subscribe to our newsletter so you don’t miss announcements on what’s happening in and around Huntsville.

Michael Seale
Michael Seale
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