LEVELLAND – If ever a person viewed life as an adventure, it was Winnie Reid. Although she is mostly remembered for the time she spent working in the Hockley County Sheriff’s Office, Winnie considered life to be an adventure. She lived as a trailblazer and dedicated public servant working in law enforcement for 20 years.
In an effort to assist female South Plains College students interested in careers in law enforcement or criminal justice, brothers Harley Reid and Jesse Reid recently pledged to donate $10,000 to the South Plains College Foundation to create the Winnie Reid Memorial Scholarship Endowment for Women in Law Enforcement to honor the memory of his mother, Winnie.
“During her lifetime, she worked as a reporter, piano instructor and swimming instructor as well as a deputy sheriff and bailiff,” said Harley.
When Stephen Henry, then new owner of the Levelland Daily Sun News, arrived on Dec. 26, 1977, he was warmly greeted and welcomed by Winnie, a reporter and photographer at the newspaper.
“I remember Winnie as a compassionate and caring person, and she was always ready for the next adventure in life,” Henry said. “She loved her family and did everything she could for them.”
“She was a long-time care-giver of her mother, which was very important to her and consumed a lot of her time,” Henry said. “So many people just park old people in a nursing home but Winnie kept her in her home for many years.”
Harley said his mother became a widow in 1968. She raised three sons – Randy (deceased), Jesse and Harley, as well as took care of her elderly mother. Winnie enrolled in South Plains College where she received an associate degree in Automotive Technology. She specialized in front end alignments. She went to work in Lubbock for Womble Olds in the service area and, for the next five years, she worked in the parts department.
Winnie then pursued a career as an Emergency Medical Technician. She later went to the South Plains Association of Governments where she earned her Peace Officer certification.
According to Dr. Lance Scott, chairperson of the Professional Services and Energy Department and associate professor of Law Enforcement, Winnie was the first or among the first few women to work for the Sherriff’s Office.
“Winnie was very dedicated to the job and she truly was an outstanding public servant with a servant’s heart,” he said. “She came into law enforcement after spending several years as a writer with the local newspaper.
“It is because of her that the students in the South Plains College Law Enforcement Club conducted several fund raisers to get the endowment started,” Scott said. “The scholarship will assist criminal justice and law enforcement female students.”
“She was passionate about education and she was a lifelong learner,” said Harley. We are setting this scholarship up to honor her memory.”
“She had a passion for women to be successful in Law Enforcement,” Harled added.
Winnie Reid, 87, died Sept. 5, 2016.
For more information on the scholarship, to make a donation or for more information about ways to support scholarships and students at South Plains College, please contact Julie Gerstenberger, Director of Development and Alumni Relations, at (806) 716-2020.