It is with great sorrow that we say goodbye to Valentine Edward Reid, better known as Val. Val, 77, of Northport, FL, passed away peacefully on February 1, 2021 at his home.
Val was born in Panama City, Panama on December 11, 1943 to Jamaican parents, father Cleveland Reid and mother Isadora Gray Reid. Val leaves behind his wife and partner of 30 years, Cecilia Duncan Reid, his two sons, Sean of Madison, Wisconsin and Dana and his wife Linda of Los Angeles, his younger brother Bill of Kingston, Jamaica, three grandsons, Huzaifa, Shalom and Chaim, five nieces and nephews: Cassandra, Lindo, Ivanhoe, Nicole and Dean.
This, however, was not Val’s only family… he came to the United States when he was 12 years old, joining his aunt and uncle in Harlem, NY, seeking education and opportunity. He would grow up to embody the fiber and fabric of the Harlem community. In between years of excelling at basketball on the streets of New York City, Val developed friendships and bonds that extended far beyond regular childhood kinships. He grew an extensive extended family that supported him, nourished him and loved him. So, in keeping, Val also leaves behind his sister, Linda Bascombe Blanchette and the entire Bascombe Family, his sister Lynda Ocampo Thomas, and his sister, Lee Buckley and all of Coach Buckley’s Family, the Benjamin Family and his sister Denise Richardson and the Richardson Family.
Val, Valentine, and sometimes even, Valentino (chances are, you knew it when you were being charmed by ‘Valentino’) lived a full life that could not be categorized by any one word. Val was: a husband, a father, a brother, an uncle, a friend, a ball player, a teammate, a photographer, a linguist, an activist, an animal lover, a union organizer, a world traveler, a son of Harlem, a motivator, a salesman, and an entrepreneur.
Val attended LaSalle High School and was inducted into the LaSalle Hall of Fame in 2006. He attended Syracuse University and was a member of the Syracuse Basketball team with two of his closest friends from NYC, Sam Penceal and Vaughn Harper. Val went on to play professional basketball in Spain, France and Italy. He returned home and worked for American Airlines and was an active union organizer for the reservations staff. Val later moved to the Bay Area in Northern California where he met his wife Cecelia. He was a successful beverage distribution sales rep where friends reflect that he must have made friends with every restaurateur within the San Francisco city limits, a seemingly perfect fit for the man who easily made friends with everybody in the room. Val and Cecelia lived in Oakland for many years, before moving to Northport, FL. Val remained a Syracuse Basketball fan. Loved watching the Golden State Warriors and World Cup Soccer. In later years he rekindled his love for his birth country of Panama. He went on to explore family connections and genealogy. Val loved his pets. Above all, he loved his family, maintained lifelong friendships and will be missed by all.