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Reed, Carmen Kay 1955 - 2021


Posted By: Joy Moore (email)
Date: 7/2/2021 at 16:09:56

ADRIAN, MO. - Carmen Reed, age 66, of Adrian Mo., died peacefully, with her best friend, nurse and caregiver of 38 years, Anne Wahage-Zickwolf, by her side, on June 4, 2021. Carmen, who had been a quadriplegic for 46 years, a result of a car accident, lived with Anne and their shared second family.
Carmen Kay Reed was born on Jan. 28, 1955, the daughter of Kathleen Kay and Dallas Reed.
She graduated from Crestwood High School before attending Upper Iowa University, followed by the University of Iowa, where she met Anne. She then graduated from the University of Northern Iowa. She and Anne moved to Kansas City in 1986. She worked at Wolferman’s Bagels (which were delicious), the IRS and a call center (which might not have been legit). A funny story, but too long for now!
No matter where Carmen worked or lived, she had friends galore from all over. She loved being online and made many friends that way. This includes her personal PC troubleshooting expert and a friend in England who colorized vintage photos. She was very lucky to have found her good friend and backup caregiver, Karen Catsimanes, as well.
Facebook was fun for Carmen. She could follow her niece and nephews’ activities, along with her cousins and their extended families. She loved kids! After her accident, she would have tutoring sessions with kids in Chester, Iowa. They loved her and have said that she was a great influence on their lives.
There are just too many stories of Carmen’s adventures to list here, but her nephews, Mike and Bryan, have written some of their favorite stories.
Michael: My first memories of Carmen are listening to her play her guitar, taking my one and only helicopter ride with her at Paul Bunyan Land and having her surprise me with treats after I broke my nose playing softball. She was always upbeat and positive around me, and I am very proud and respect how she lived life.
I became an expert at pushing the wheelchair and doing wheelies around the house when she was in bed, but I could only drive the electric chair for two seconds before I hit a wall. I was extremely nervous helping my dad and uncle get her on the pontoon while we were at the cabin, but it was worth it, as she loved driving the boat.
In Chester, we played a lot of “Risk” and “Monopoly” with the Chester boys and took many rides around town, over Orange Bridge and to the mall in Rochester (switching with Carla and Kevin on who got to ride on the back of the wheelchair, the electric one). Carmen was ultra-competitive, so we had a lot of fun arguing and playing those games. She also coached our softball team.
I remember playing Atari (We’re old.) and being excited when she had the TV satellite installed by an acquaintance. The satellite dish was huge, and I am sure NASA was jealous of it.
Carmen loved being able to drive, and her vans were her ticket to getting out and doing things. I found her collection of MAD books, and the motto fit her, “What, me worry?” She introduced me to J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit,” and we spent a lot of time watching the World at War documentaries.
Once the van was in play, we were off on many adventures during the summer. We went to Niagara Falls, Gettysburg and Canada, just to name a very few. I can’t forget The World’s Fair. My favorite part was how happy Carmen was when we cut in front of the mile long line to get in to see part of the Great Wall of China.
Carmen loved family gatherings and loved playing cards, especially euchre. We had so much fun at Chiefs games when Carmen and Anne moved to KC.
We would be first in line with the newspaper (We’re old.) and mimosas and when the gate opened, Carmen drove diagonally across the parking lot like a bat out of hell to get to the corner handicap space, so we could set up all the grills. I am sure the parking assistants were waving at Carmen and wishing her well, by waving their arms.
We kept up by phone calls, Facebook, having lunch as we passed through each other’s cities and of course getting updates from my mom, who was always talking with Carmen. We spoke last week, and I am happy that the last words I said to Carmen were, LOVE YOU.
Bryan: I never knew Carm when she could walk. I remember as a kid asking her if she would just “try really hard” to walk maybe she could. I had so many questions about her being different in the wheelchair, and she always humored me with answers.
I read all the Mad Magazine books and can still see the life-size poster of Mark Spitz hanging on the wall in my mind. I did wheelies in her chair for hours on the ramp at Kay and Dallas’. I remember riding around swearing and drinking tiny bottles of beer (legally, if we were in Europe) and getting excited to “cruise” Chester in her van with Anne and slowing down to talk to random people there. Compared to living in St. Paul, it seemed like a different planet without any rules, and literally no one we saw was a stranger.
Hanging out with Carmen in Chester was always fun — softball games, the “Machine Shack” arcade in Rochester, playing pool at Harvey’s with her, Atari, playing “Pong” and “Combat.” I barely remember the World’s Fair line cutting, but we got to go on a tour of the Royals stadium and always got the best parking for the Chiefs’ games.
We would talk about esoteric things like out-of-body experiences, the afterlife/souls, and what is this life all about anyway, is our fate predetermined? etc. Then, about 10 years ago, she started working on our family tree on Ancestry, literally for thousands of hours, and corresponded with probably hundreds of people asking about our relatives from other people’s trees and adding to ours.
We drifted apart after I got older for a long time, but we got to talk more recently and played fantasy football, which was always a blast. Playing against the “Wicked Weasels” was always a tough game! Miss you and love you, Carm!
Survivors include sister, Renee (Dick) Smith, their son, Micheal (Susan) and daughter, Kayla, and brother, Bill (LaDene) Reed, and their son, Bryan (Jessica) and sons, Jackson and Caleb, and daughter, Laura (Noah) and sons, Cameron and Kai.
Anne (Fred) Wahage-Zickwolf and son David (Lluvia Rocha) were her family in every sense of the word. They had fun together, shopping, cooking and traveling. Grandchild, Adrian (Rooster), age four, added more joy and happiness in Carmen’s life than I can ever imagine. She loved his little feet pounding up the hallway to see his Nana. She showed him how to remove stamps from envelopes, as she was an avid stamp collector. Rooster enjoyed many rides on the wheelchairs, as Carmen was always game for anything he wanted to do! He says it is sad that Nana is gone, but it will be okay...
Carmen was preceded in death by her parents, Kathleen Kay and Dallas Reed.

Source: Cresco Times June 30, 2021


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