Reid Combs Bristow

Jul 1, 1922 - Aug 7, 2012


BRISTOW, Reid Combs
July 16, 1922 – August 7, 2012

Reid C. Bristow, age 90, died in his sleep Tuesday evening, August 7. In a typical act of independence, the previous week he attempted to walk across his living room despite age-related frailness. He lost his balance and fell, breaking his hip. He slipped away a week later.

Born in Belle Fourche, South Dakota, to Jerome Lucien (‘JL’) and Elizabeth Bristow, Reid and his older sister moved with their parents to Sacramento when he was two. They lost their beautiful mother in their teens. A member of the pioneer class of C.K. McClatchy High School, Reid was movie-star handsome and a math whiz. After just a year of college, however, WWII and the U.S. Navy beckoned. While serving in the Navy he married the love of his life, Jacquelyn McCowan. They were married for 68 years and raised three children, Bruce (Terry), Loni Mahan Reynolds (Blair) and Alison Raymer (Mike). Reid was also adored by three grandchildren, Sean Mahan, Colin Mahan (Amanda) and Gwyn Raymer Johnson (Gareth), and two great-grandchildren, Zelda and Dashiell Mahan. Reid will also be mourned by his niece Carol Uhouse and nephews Jan and Jeffrey Drupiewski.

Reid worked for McClellan AFB, Aerojet and Douglas Aircraft, including a 2-year tour with Douglas building missiles in England. It was a great adventure for the kids. After they were grown he finally went back to college and traded his blue collar for a white one as an accountant for the state Dept. of Finance. In retirement he singlehandedly built a new kitchen suite for Jackie. When she died in January of last year Reid lost his spark.

Reid outlived most of his contemporaries, as well as his beloved grandson Sean. He had a long life and was ready to move to the next phase, whatever that may be. His cremains will be interred at East Lawn beside those of his mother and sister. Friends and family are invited to a celebration of his life on Saturday, August 25 at 1pm. For details email“>
Published in The Sacramento Bee from August 16 to August 17, 2012

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