Hundreds remember life, work of former Harrisburg mayor Stephen Reed


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Saint Patrick Cathedral was filled with family, friends, and acquaintances of former Harrisburg mayor Stephen Reed.

Reed died Jan. 25 after a long battle with cancer. He was 70.

Hundreds gathered Monday at Saint Patrick Cathedral in Harrisburg for Reed’s funeral. His sister, Leslie Gray, spoke about his commitment to the city and its residents.

“He made some mistakes, but he loved the city and its people and the entire region,” Gray said.

His close friends say Reed was not worried about his legacy.

“His mind would never stop, and you could see that up until about three days before he passed,” Kevin Cable said. “He was always thinking about what good things could happen here in Harrisburg. He really loved the city.”

Dauphin County Coroner Graham Hetrick said Reed was committed to the city across the board.

“When there was a fire or something bad happened, he would always show up,” Hetrick said. “It never mattered what time it was, because he always felt that it was important for him to be there.”

Former Carlisle mayor Kirk Wilson spent a lot of time with Reed. He said they had a unique friendship.

“We never called each other by our first names,” Wilson said. “It was either mayor or your honor, and that is something I will never forget.”

Vera Cornish worked with Reed for more than two decades. She says they traveled to other cities to come up with development ideas that would work in Harrisburg.

“There would be no Harrisburg University or Whitaker Arts Center without his vision,” Cornish said. “He accomplished so much more because he had the vision and the drive to take risks.”

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