Christopher (Kit) D. Reed of Cambridge and Vineyard Haven died on July 21. He was at 79. 

Prior to his retirement in 2007, he was the executive editor of Harvard Magazine. Kit joined Harvard Magazine as managing editor in 1968, and in the fall of 1999 he became executive editor. After retiring, he continued as a contributing editor.

Upon graduating from Yale College in 1959, and prior to joining the magazine, he worked at Harvard University Press. He excelled at writing, not only because of his strong technical skills and keen sense of humor, but also because of his true interest in learning about diverse subjects and engaging with interesting people. At the end of 2008, the magazine gave him the McCord Prize honoring his superb writing.

He began coming to Martha’s Vineyard in the 1960s, when his wife Jane’s parents, Dr. and Mrs. Clair B. Crampton, bought the barn and former studio of the late artist Denys Wortman on Hines Point. Dr. Crampton volunteered his medical services during busy summer weeks to assist the late Russell S. Hoxsie, M.D., in his family practice in Vineyard Haven.

Kit was an inveterate collector. Throughout his life he amassed a variety of objects, including arrowheads, ancient Greek coins, antique guns (he had a license) and Scottish terrier memorabilia. He loved to learn the story behind everything and relished the chance to share what he learned with others. Although his clear love was for dogs, particularly Scotties, he was accepting of every new furry friend his wife Jane brought home, and there were many.

His passion for gardening and landscaping was the envy of neighbors and friends. He delighted in sharing clippings from his favorite plants which now thrive in many local gardens. In the 1980s he became a contributing editor to Horticulture Magazine. Kit and his wife, Jane, a photographer, worked together on several articles featuring the Chelsea Flower Show in England.

He is survived by his daughter, Jennifer P. Reed of San Leandro, Calif.; his brother in law Michael Crampton and his wife Ardith of West Hartford, Conn. and Vineyard Haven; his sister in law, Tinka Reed, of Jaffrey, N.H.; and many nieces and nephews. Kit’s only sibling, his brother Peter, died in 2009. His wife, Jane C. Reed, died in 2013.

A memorial service will be held at a later date. A guestbook is available at

Friends wishing to make financial donations in his name might consider one of his favorite charities: Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary, PO Box 494 Vineyard Haven, MA 02568 or