Gene C. Reid, Class of 1932
City Park Developer
Was born in Seattle, Washington on December 2, 1912. At the age of 12, Gene moved to Tucson with his family. His father established Rancho Palos Verdes which consisted of an oasis with an arboretum of Tropical plants, and commercial citrus and date orchards. He attended University Heights Elementary, Roskruge, graduated Tucson High School in 1931 and proceeded on to the University of Arizona where he majored in Horticulture and held a student job at in the greenhouse. Besides playing in the band at Tucson High, Gene worked in the morning before school making crew assignments and checking their efforts once school was completed. After his education, Gene spent time working with his father at Rancho Palos Verdes, where he produced citrus and dates for shipment throughout the United States. He also ran a landscape nursery which involved custom landscape and land development. After several years registering voters as a Deputy for Pima County, Gene was appointed to the Tucson Police Department. In May 1947 he was appointed Supervisor of Parks. Moving up the ladder Gene became the Superintendent in 1953. When Parks and Recreation was combined Gene assumed the role as Acting Director. Finally in 1961, Gene became the first Director of the Parks and Recreation Department. The primary purpose and function of the Parks and Recreation Department should be to provide a city and its people opportunities for beauty, relaxation and activity. As the City’s people have more free time, providing these opportunities becomes more important if the city is to be livable. Since he became Director, the department grew tremendously in the areas of parks median islands, golf courses, swimming pools, playfields, tennis courts, recreation centers, the Reid Park Zoo, Installation of automatic irrigation systems, and playground equipment. Gene Reid has been active in local, state and national associations to increase and develop areas of beauty and park development. He has received numerous awards and recognitions throughout the country.