Reed was born at home near Huston, Idaho on July 8, 1932 and died on Oct. 8, 2020 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Reed was married to his wife Georgiana (Georgie) for 58 years. She preceded him in death in May 2019.
He grew up in San Francisco Bay Area where he and his younger brother Rod spent many hours hiking the foothills of Mt. Tamalpais. In 1950 he graduated from Mt. Diablo High School and was part of the Naval Air Reserves at the Oakland Naval Air Station. He attended Eastern Contra Costa Junior College in Martinez (now Diablo Valley College) and decided to become a wildlife biologist.
With the outbreak of the Korean War though part of the Naval Air Reserves, Reed was draft exempt but requested active duty so to earn credits for the GI Bill. He was stationed on the USS Rendova, an escort carrier out of San Diego, California. He made a lousy sailor as every time the seas got rough he got sick!
He graduated from Humboldt State University in 1957 with his Bachelor’s of Science in Wildlife while working summers at Dinosaur and Muir Woods National Monuments. In 1959 he graduated from Colorado State University with his Master’s of Science in Range Management. He and his pet skunk returned to California, where he worked for the U.S. Forest Service as a Research Range Conservationist in Susanville, California.
While there, a young lady was interviewed for an office position. Afterward, the Administrative Assistant, who did the interview, enthusiastically asked him what he thought of her. He replied, “You are hiring our Clerk Typist; not my wife.” Words that he would later eat! She was hired and Reed and Georgie were married Feb. 11, 1961 in Reno, NV. They had two children, Christine Butson and Allen R. Sanderson; three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
He retired from research with the U.S. Forest Service in 1989 after working in California, West Virginia, and Oregon. During their time in West Virginia, Reed and Georgie’s love of birding came about as they co-founded the Mountaineer Chapter of the Audubon Society, which just celebrated its 50th year as an organization.
After retirement, Reed and Georgie migrated to Arizona to continue their birding adventures while volunteering as caretakers at the U.S. Forest Service Santa Rita Experimental Range. In 1996 they settled permanently in Green Valley, Arizona, building a home that is an oasis for birds. They joined the Green Valley Genealogy Society where Reed was the president for several years.
Reed retired again in 2007 working for the University of Arizona monitoring the Mt. Graham Red Squirrel. Reed was an active member of the Society for Range Management and The Wildlife Society. His peers elected him as a Fellow of The Wildlife Society in 2013. More details on Reed’s life can be found at https://www.neilodonnellfh.com/obituaries/H-Sanderson-2/
Reed’s ashes will be mingled with Georgie’s and will be placed to rest in the Trinity Center Cemetery, Trinity County, California. Reed and Georgie will be remembered by family and friends at a gathering in the Redwoods at a later time. Reed may be remembered by sending a donation to Save the Redwood League, 111 Sutter Street, 11th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94104 or Reed and Georgia Sanderson Student Travel Award Fund, Arizona Chapter of The Wildlife Society, PO Box 41337, Phoenix, AZ 85080.