Joseph K. Reed, 85, electrician, Korean War vet and active churchman.

Posted: April 01, 2014

WHEN MARTIN Luther King Jr. gave his famous "I Have a Dream" speech during the March on Washington in August 1963, Joseph K. Reed was among the nearly 300,000 who heard him.

Joseph was part of the local delegation to the march representing the rights of labor, urging "jobs and freedom."

A longtime civil-rights activist, Joseph didn't hesitate to collar anyone he thought would hear out his opinions on politics, the rights of man and the need for spiritual attainment.

Joseph Clark, a longtime electrician for the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, an Army veteran of the Korean War, an active churchman and a devoted family patriarch, died March 6 at age 85.

"Joseph was the cornerstone of his family and instrumental in nurturing everyone's life he encountered," his family said.

He was born in Philadelphia to George W. and Mary Ruth Reed. He began his spiritual journey at St. Martin de Porres Church, and maintained an active role in church affairs throughout his life.

He married Martha Ellerbe Reed in 1951.

A great conversationalist, Joseph "would engage anyone in conversation, and was especially fond of mentoring men in trusting God and taking care of their families," his family said.

He was a proud supporter of President Obama and sent him a letter of congratulations on his election.

"Joseph will surely be missed and revered by all who knew him," his family said. "The life he lived truly spoke volumes for all who were fortunate to know him."

His daughter, Denice Reed Clark, wrote a poem in his memory:

Even though you may be leaving

you'll still be in my heart;

you'll always be close

even though we're far apart.

While you're in heaven,

please watch over me . . .

He was a member of the Knights of Columbus.

His wife died in 2001. Besides his daughter, he is survived by a son, Gary Reed, and a granddaughter, Maya Talise Clark. He was predeceased by another son, Joseph K. Reed Jr.

Services: Were March 14.

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