Barbara Tobin Reid, who taught children with learning disabilities at New York’s St. Luke’s Hospital as well as privately until her retirement in 2000, died at her Amagansett house on Wednesday morning, just before her 81st birthday, with her family by her side. The cause was cancer, her husband said.
Ms. Reid was born in New York City, the daughter of Lillian and Louis Tobin, on May 6, 1936. After graduating from the Birch Wathen School and Vassar College, she became an editor for McGraw Hill Publishing Company. She then pursued an interest in special education at Manhattan’s Bank Street College. Her family said she was revered as a teacher, noting that a former student had written saying she had inspired her to earn a master’s degree in special education, also from Bank Street College, and have a teaching career.
She and Harvey Reid were married in 1960, and left their jobs to spend their first married year traveling abroad. They began spending summer weekends in Amagansett in 1972, becoming full-time residents in 2009. Ms. Reid often could be found, rain or shine, working in her flower and vegetable garden, which her family said was beautiful. A constant reader, her summer days often began at dawn on Indian Wells Beach in Amagansett with a John le Carré spy novel or a new biography. She also made time for her other passion, preparing favorite recipes for family and friends, with dinner parties inevitably lasting long into the night. In addition, she loved theater, rnusic, and film, and the programs at New York City’s Symphony Space.
Her family described her as bright, cheerful, and funny, and said her “spunk and sparkle” resonates in each of them.
In addition to her husband, Ms. Reid is survived by two sons, David Reid, who lives in Pisac, Peru, and Michael Reid, who lives in New York City.
Memorial donations have been suggested to The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund, P.O. Box 5193, New York 10087, or the Amagansett Village Improvement Society, P.O. Box 611, Amagansett 11930