Gwendolyn Reid, 84


Gwendolyn Rosemary Reid, born on June 16, 1937, entered into eternal life on December 31, 2021, at the age of 84.
Born to Chester and Genevieve Herald (nee’ Lintz), Gwen grew up on a family farm in Clarkston, the fourth born in a family of six children.
Nicknamed “Binny” to some, Gwen was adored and loved by all those who knew her, and many admired her abilities to give of herself, a trait she carried with her throughout her life. Genevieve, her mother, taught her family what was most important. Gwen was paying attention to every detail, and understood, it was all about family and helping others. An avid cheerleader and baseball fan, through high school, Gwen’s keen eye and knack for encouragement rounded off a stellar academic record, paving the way for Gwen’s future. The healing hands of Gwen were not only known to those in her family, but also in her chosen profession.
A particularly poignant moment for the entire Herald family, Gwen was accepted and the first to go to college. Gwen was a student nurse at St. John Hospital. After graduating from nursing school, she continued working at St. John’s until the early 1970s.
Gwen married Lawrence M. Hollerbach and had four beautiful children: Patrick, Sandra, Suzanne, and Lawrence. In 1971, the plans, hopes and dreams that Lawrence and Gwen envisioned and had their hearts set on were abruptly changed.
Her beloved husband was received into eternal life much earlier than anyone had ever anticipated which left Gwen at the age of 34 with four young children ages 3 to 8. Gwendolyn was very dedicated to her children. She truly believed that her purpose was to help her children grow in love, and so she pressed on. Finding her way took some time, as Gwen now balanced raising her four children with work. The night shift made the most sense to her and so she worked while her children slept with the help of her parents and her loving nieces Mary and Jan Hollerbach.
A beautiful man named Thomas Reid entered Gwen’s life along with two brown-eyed little Irish girls, Colleen and Erin. Tom and Gwen were married March 17, 1972 on St Patrick’s Day. Gwen’s love knew no bounds, learning to manage a blended family. We always knew when the girls were coming for the weekend, as noted by chocolate milk in the refrigerator and extra treats in the drawer.
Gwen taught all of her children through example how to honor those she loved by living a balanced full life. Steeped in holiness and love, Gwen nurtured both her family and the greater community as, demonstrated in her career of nursing until the age of 74. Beginning her nursing career in the ICU, with a stint in the emergency room and ending in the recovery room Gwen was most proud of her ICU days bedside, where her skill sets of intuitive care and compassion shined.
Gwen’s social life was also a selfless reflection of her being as she was perfectly content enjoying what others loved. Music and golf were woven into both Gwen and Tom’s life beginning with the Rochester Catholic Chorale and ending at Assumption Grotto Catholic church. Playing Golf locally in the early years morphed into trips throughout upper and lower Michigan as they aged.
Once the many grandchildren came into the picture, Gwen made sure she had whatever they needed whether it was strollers, bassinets, high chairs or toys, Gwen was sure to have it! Her children and grandchildren had their needs met. When babies were born, Gwen made sure she was available to the new mother and grand-baby. Gwen dedicated the first two weeks after the birth to be in their homes. When children and grandchildren were coming to visit, we knew to expect “the call” telling us she was going to the store and she wanted to know favorite foods, especially breakfast. Gwen was concerned about meeting the needs of others and had an incredible gift in meeting those needs. It didn’t matter who you were, if you needed someone to advocate for you, that was Gwen.
Gwen was the one we counted on. As children we used to laugh as our mother had the largest purse of any woman we knew and often she was teased about the size of that bag. However, inside that purse was everything a child or adult ever needed, tissues, Tylenol, tums, snacks, and more. Her bag and her attitude rivaled that of Mary Poppins, “firm but fair.”
Once Tom and Gwen downsized and moved to Rochester Hills, Gwen thoroughly embraced the lifestyle of grandmother and part-time recovery room nurse, while keeping up with their singing and golfing alongside Tom. Looking back over her life, she relished many memories, including her days dancing in the “Nutcracker,” specifically “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.”
The last chapter of Gwen’s life was spent in Saint Clair Shores, living closer to several of their children and their families. Family: the highest priority and greatest joy for both Gwen and her beloved husband Tom.
Gwen is survived by her children Patrick Hollerbach Reid, of Harrison Township, Sandra Hollerbach Reid, of Grosse Pointe Woods, Suzanne Hollerbach (Dr. Eric) Nelson of Pewaukee, Wis., Lawrence Hollerbach Reid (Lori), of Grosse Pointe Farms, and two stepdaughters Colleen Marie Affeldt, of Dallas, Tex., and Erin Maureen (Brandon) Bliss, of Dallas, Tex. Gwen is survived by 12 beautiful grandchildren: Emily, Sarah, Isaiah, Benjamin, Abigail, Sam, Jacob, Simon, Annie, Haranath, Margaret Mary, and Joseph, along with great-granddaughter Azalea Elizabeth. She is also survived by her sisters Jenny Creech and Geri Scott and her brother-in-law John Jidas.
Gwendolyn is preceded in death by Thomas Michael Reid, Lawrence M. Hollerbach, Chester and Genevieve Harold, and siblings Richard and Kenny Harold and her sister Sharon Jidas.
Arrangements entrusted to A.H. Peters Funeral Home, Grosse Pointe Woods.
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