Gretchen Reed has been a trustee of the Riverside High School Alumni Association since joining the group in 2015 and has been its secretary since ’17. She taught English at the high school from 1967 – ’95 after two years of teaching at Mentor High School. She established an aviation ground school at RHS in ’69, which she taught until her retirement. She and her husband gave young people hundreds of airplane rides.
She began an avocation in journalism while at Toledo University and, upon graduation, returned to Lake County in ’65, where she was certified as an adjunct reporter for the Painesville Telegraph, to which she contributed articles and photographs from 1966-’77. At RHS, she was advisor to the student newspaper for ten years and school newsletter writer for 20+ years. She is now copy editor for the newly-launched alumni association’s on-line Log
In 1977 she and husband Charles began developing Pheasant Run Airport and Aviation Museum on 68 acres they had purchased in LeRoy Township. After his death in ’08, she and her ex-student and close friend Chris Joles began expanding the facilities and organizing the antique airplanes and artifacts until the place became a formal museum. It now includes a collection of classic cars as well. It has become a “community center,” hosting a variety of events and visitors that number into the thousands.
Gretchen has been a licensed private pilot since 1968 but is now inactive due to medical interruptions. She serves as secretary and volunteer for LeRoy Heritage Association and is a trustee and frequent volunteer at the International Women’s Air and Space Museum at Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland.
She was inducted into the RHS Hall of Fame in 2001 and the International Forest of Friendship Aviation Honorary in ’03 and was named a “Woman of Influence” by Lakeland Community College in ‘17.