J. Madden Reid, a longtime executive director of the Augusta Housing Authority, died Saturday. He was 85.
“In many respects he was the father of public housing in Augusta,” former Mayor Bob Young said. “His knowledge of federal programs and his compassion for the people he served combined to create a legacy that stands today as a model for public service. He was a personal friend and will be missed.”
Reid presided over sweeping changes in public housing, fighting the twin plagues of drugs and crime that descended on housing agencies nationwide, according to past accounts in The Augusta Chronicle. Under Reid, the housing authority was recognized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as a high-performing agency.
The J. Madden Reid Administrative Building is named for him.
Reid, who retired 20 years ago this month, came to Augusta in 1968 from his native Macon, where he had been general manager for its housing authority.
The Mercer University graduate began his career as a teacher.
“When I came over here … I brought a book of all the things I wanted to do if I ever got to be executive director of the place,” he said in a 1989 Chronicle interview. “One of them was to build pride in not only the tenant in respecting himself and his neighborhood, but the rest of the neighborhood.
“Ultimately our salvation is going to be building pride in our neighborhoods and in our residents. And if I can do nothing else before I retire, then I can say I’ve done something.”
The funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at St. Mary on the Hill Catholic Church. Burial follows in Westover Memorial Park.
Memorial contributions can be made to the J. Madden Reid Augusta Housing Authority Academic Scholarship Fund c/o AHA, 1435 Walton Way, Augusta, GA 30901.
The family will receive friends from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday at Thomas Poteet & Son Funeral Directors, 214 Davis Road.