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Albion business owner had a heart for the needy

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 November 2013 at 12:00 am

Linda Reed died in crash Saturday near Mobile, Ala.

Photo by Tom Rivers – Linda Reed in August became owner of the Clothesline at 18 East Bank St.

ALBION – Linda Reed was known among the downtown Albion merchants for her big heart. She especially took time for needy residents.

“She was a really nice person who looked out for others,” said Lisa Stratton, owner of the Hazy Jade.

Reed died on Saturday in a car accident in Poarch, Ala., near Mobile. She was down south visiting family, including two new grandsons she met for the first time in Texas, her daughter Lisa LaRose said.

Reed stopped and saw other family and friends in Louisiana. She was on her way home Saturday when her 2003 Ford Explorer left the road and struck a tree at 11:55 a.m. on I-65 in Escambia County. (Click here to see news article from al.com.)

Reed, 65, had been volunteering at The Clothesline, a consignment and gift shop. She became owner of the business in August and took pride in the site, changing the decorations in the front window several times.

Reed in a photo on her Facebook page

“I had just talked with her and was excited about decorating for Christmas,” Stratton said.

Reed, a cancer survivor, may have been best known in the community for her passionate fund-raising for cancer research. She sought donations and participants for a Relay for Life team in Lockport. She put purple ribbons on her home on East Park Street.

She also had purple toilets that she put in people’s front yards and in front of businesses as a fund-raiser for cancer research.

“She was relentless,” Stratton said smiling about Reed and her creative and persistent fund-raising.

Reed closed the store for a couple weeks so she could go see her family. A sign in the front window says she intended to be back at the store on Nov. 29.

She is the second East Bank Street merchant to die in a car accident in less than a week.

Joshua Lunn, 25, owned the Grease Lightning business at 102 East Bank St. He died in a Nov. 20 accident in Kendall. He was traveling westbound on Route 18 when he attempted to pass a westbound vehicle. Lunn lost control of his pickup truck and left the south shoulder striking several trees.