Susan B.'s Story
Susan Bell Reed, an award-winning advertising copywriter, award-winning television producer, and holder of a Harvard degree in Middle East studies passed away after a short illness on Monday, May 22, 2017.
A North Shore native, she was educated at Vassar, Emerson College and Harvard University, where she graduated first in her class, cum laude, with a degree in Middle Eastern Studies. Her career in advertising included stints at prominent agencies and television stations, concentrating on campaign creative and production. At the age of 30, she shifted her career to documentary film and television. Her television projects included hour-long documentaries on the history of television, a behind-the-scenes look at the adventure-education organization, Outward Bound, a docudrama telling of a landmark right-to-die case, a portrait of Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov and his family at the end of the Cold War, and a forward-looking exploration of the future of communication technology hosted by William Shatner. Her independent documentary about Washington DC debutantes, “Coming Out," screened at the Sundance Film Festival and was later aired by PBS television. She was a multi-Emmy award winner.
During the years of her television career, she traveled extensively to Europe, the Middle East, and repeatedly to Israel. It was on one of her earlier Israel visits that she heard the story of a British Army officer who served during the British Mandate Period in the 1930s, and was regarded by Israelis as the “Lawrence of Arabia of the Jews.” It was then that she began researching the life story of Orde Charles Wingate and his role in the formation of the first Jewish army in two thousand years. This became the subject of her first non-fiction book.
Susan was an avid member of Yogaforhealth, she worked out regularly with her friend and personal trainer, Shari Berkal, and her 100lb frame could press 85% of her own body weight, much to her delight.
She was devoted to her husband of 36 years, Ted Reed of Gloucester, and her loyal dogs and cats. In addition to her husband, she is survived by her mother, Lois Strome of Marblehead and her nephew, Adam Strome. She was pre-deceased by her father, Philip Strome and her brother, Randall.
Services will be held on Friday at 10 a.m. on May 26th, at Mt. Jacob Cemetery in West Gloucester. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to Friends of the IDF (www.fidf.org).
Published on  May 25, 2017