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A Tribute to Ernie

By Kevin Leary

Last week a wife lost her husband. a sister lost a brother, a mother lost her son, and I, along with hundreds of others, lost a dear friend.

Ernest C. Reid lost his battle with cancer and passed away, but Ernie will not be forgotten. I am sure his memory will outlive us all.

He was truly a unique person. Hard and gruff, but compassionate and kind. Serious and relentless, but
relaxed and humorous. He could be your best friend or your worst enemy. He was multi-faceted and multi-talented, a complex individual, until you got to know him. He had a good sense of humor, almost too good sometimes.

Most people in town knew him from Town Meeting. He was chairman of District Five. He spent weeks preparing and researching the is- sues to be voted. It was only natural to him; after all, he was an investigator by trade.

He used his skills as an investigator for the betterment of the town. He would go head to head with anyone, on any issue, because his argument was always backed up with reams of research and facts and interviews that he had conducted prior to voicing his opinion.

Few would venture to argue against Ernie, because Ernie was most likely right.

Ernie was also a teacher. He shared what he had learned as an investigator with others in his profession. He served on the board of directors of the Licensed Private Detectives Association of Massachusetts for many years and taught many seminars, sharing his expertise and "tricks

of the trade " .Many an investigator would call Ernie with a problem and ask his advice, and he would always have an answer.

Ernie also worked as a corrections officer and deputy sheriff at the Norfolk County Sheriff's office under Sheriff Mike Bellotti, Sheriff Jack Flood, and Sheriff Clifford Marshall. While working in the medical unit he authored several articles about handling and housing inmates with certain medical afflictions. These were not only published in national journals, they are now used as training aids across the country.

Ernie was known to local kids in Oakdale Square as "Uncle Ernie." He would work his schedule around "holding court" at his favorite coffee shop there at 4 p.m., on the dot. The daily group would vary, but the conversation was always lively. There, no topic was sacred. All of the world's problems would be bantered about -and solved. The town's problems would take a little while longer, and we would usually have to wait for the children to leave.

Those who did not know Ernie personally, truly missed an opportunity to know a unique individual.

He was someone who cared about his family, his friends, and his town. He was someone who was not afraid to get involved, and he would work tirelessly for the little guy.

I know he is in a better place now and watching over the town as he so much liked to do.

And I know that I, along with his family and friends, will miss him greatly every day.

The Dedham Times, October 27, 2000

At Oakdale Pizza and Coffee Shop, along with our great food, it is our people that have helped to build our reputation.     Here, everyone is friendly and the conversation is always lively.     Whether you come in at 6:00 am for coffee, at 4:00 pm to "hold court" or any other time, you will find that the people of Oakdale Square always have something to talk about.