Ronald Howard Reeder died August 12, 2019 in Mercer Island, Washington at the age of 79. He was born September 7, 1939 in Denver, Colorado, the son of Marvin and Daphene Reeder. The family lived in Tokyo, Japan from 1949 to 1955 with his parents serving as Seventh Day Adventist missionaries. During this time Ron began his life-long hobbies of photography and woodworking. After receiving a degree in Biochemistry from MIT he returned to Kyoto for a post-doctoral year, then joined the faculty of Carnegie Institute in Baltimore, MD. In 1978 he was recruited to join the faculty at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington, where he was a faculty member until retirement in 2002.
Ron’s research lab at Fred Hutchinson was among the first in the Basic Sciences Division. He was instrumental in establishing the ethics of rapport and support among the scientists there that exist today, believing that competition was with those outside Fred Hutchinson, not inside. He was a mentor to many post-doctoral students across the years, who valued his support, guidance and friendship. During his career at Fred Hutchinson, he was equally busy outside the workplace, using and developing woodworking and photography skills. Ron and Judith built their first house together in Seattle in 1981 that included many Japanese elements; in 1991, they built a second house on Mercer Island. In addition to woodworking for the home, Ron took up carving, creating beautiful Northwest style artifacts such as masks and cedar boxes. Ron built tables, chairs, desks, jewelry cabinets, stairs, and workbenches not only for himself but for his friends.
His father gave Ron his first camera while the family was in Japan and Ron’s interest and skill in this field continued until his death. From the world of film, working in all formats and development techniques that he perfected in the darkroom; to the world of digital photography and Photoshop expertise, he was unparalleled in his enthusiasm and breadth of knowledge. His ability to use techniques from the old and new worlds of photography in creating new imaging effects resulted in several journal articles and books. Nothing gave him more pleasure than spending a day in the studio with friends photographing and printing images.
As a friend and human being, Ron was warm and generous and fiercely devoted to his friends and family. He loved music and played a mean guitar and dobro, knowing more song lyrics and limericks by heart than would fill a tome. The outdoors called to him and the many trips in the Northwest, Yellowstone and Alaska fueled his photography. He and Judith were part of a photography group that traveled worldwide and formed lasting friendships. He also enjoyed collecting insects in his outdoor excursions and created a beautiful collection of northwest butterflies.
In addition to his wife Judith Roan, Ron leaves behind his younger brother Theodore Reeder and his wife Kathleen, their three children, as well as, six grand-nieces. At Ron’s request there will not be a funeral service or memorial. Remembrances to Ron may be made to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center where he was a faculty member in the Basic Sciences Division for twenty four years. Special thanks goes to Evergreen Hospice which provided loving and caring support during Ron’s last days.
https://www.fredhutch.org/en/news/center-news/2019/08/ron-reeder-obituary.html is a link to a tribute by the Hutchinson Cancer Center.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zh76bLDRgdY is a link to a short interview given by Art Zone to discuss his photo show featuring vintage Japanese prints.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 1100 Fairview Avenue North, P.O. Box 19024, Seattle WA. 98109-1024.