Dr. Frances W. Reeder, 93

Psychiatrist served in the Army Nurse Corps during World War II

April 20, 2007

Dr. Frances W. Reeder, a retired psychiatrist who had been a nurse during World War II, died in her sleep Tuesday at a Tallahassee, Fla., retirement community. The former Pasadena resident was 93.

Frances Seward Anderson was born and raised in Lynchburg, Va. She earned a bachelor's degree from Duke University in 1935 and a nursing degree from the University of Virginia School of Nursing in 1937.

She was married in 1937 to Robert H. Williams, who became a Navy surgeon, and they were stationed at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. He was aboard the aircraft carrier USS Lexington during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.

"She didn't talk about it much," said a stepson, Charles M. Reeder of Seattle. "They lived in a small house near the beach while he was on sea duty. As the bombs fell, she ran to a neighbor's house for safety."

After her husband was killed aboard the Lexington during the Battle of the Coral Sea in 1942, she joined the Army Nurse Corps, serving as an anesthetist at evacuation hospitals in England and France.

She left the service as a lieutenant and returned to Lynchburg, where she worked in the psychiatric ward in the local veterans hospital.

Dr. Reeder earned her medical degree from the Medical College of Virginia in 1954 and completed an internship at the University of Wisconsin and a residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

She was an associate professor of psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the 1960s before she left to enter private practice. She retired in 1986.

In 1959, she married Charles Charreton Reeder, a builder, who built the couple's home on Gray's Creek on the Magothy River. He died in 1992.

A resident of the Tallahassee retirement community since 1992, Dr. Reeder enjoyed playing bridge, poker and cribbage.

Services will be held at 2 p.m. today at Westminster Oaks retirement community in Tallahassee.

Also surviving are another stepson, John H. Reeder of Columbia, Mo.; a stepdaughter, Anne R. Barker of Richardson, Texas; five grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and her companion, Norman Craft of Tallahassee.

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