McGilley State Line Chapel

12301 State Line Road, Kansas City, MO


William A. Reed, MD

July 18, 1927October 1, 2019

William Allen Reed MD, “Bill”, passed away peacefully at home on October 1, 2019. Bill was born on July 18, 1927 in Kokomo, Indiana. One of eight children, he grew up rural and poor during the Great Depression. As a young man in 1945, he enlisted in the United States Navy as a machinist’s mate. After his honorable discharge, with the help of the G.I. Bill, he graduated from college and medical school at the University of Indiana.

His career in medicine endured for decades in Kansas City and he was a tremendously positive influence on a multitude of students and fellow practitioners. He was an innovator, instructor and leader in the specialty of cardiovascular surgery. He was especially proud of his vital role in the development of the Center for Advanced Heart Care at the University of Kansas Hospital. But most importantly, he possessed a relentless dedication to his patients and their families.

Aside from medicine, he established Stonecrest Farm to breed and race thoroughbred horses. The culmination of these efforts resulted in the 2002 Kentucky Derby third place finisher, Perfect Drift.

Bill was an avid reader, particularly of the classic poets. He was a devoted Kansas City Chiefs and KU sports fan. He explored many streams as a trout fly fisherman. He was a dedicated philanthropist.

Bill was preceded in death by his beloved wife Mary. He is survived by three sons and daughters-in-law, Jeff, Rita, Bryan, Dianne, Martin and Teresa, and five cherished grandchildren.

Dad, we will miss your guidance, your letters, your fortitude and work ethic, your willingness to pursue dreams to their fullest extent, and your calm during the storms. We love you.

The family will be having a private ceremony. Memorial gifts may be made to The University of Kansas Health System, either the Dr. William and Mary Reed Cardiovascular Surgery Center or the Mary J. Reed Nurse Navigation Program.


No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


William A. Reed, MD

have a memory or condolence to add?

Amy Williams

October 21, 2019

Dr. Reed saved my life August 13, 1965. I was 3 years old and, to date, was the youngest patient KU med had performed (then experimental) open heart surgery to repair an atrial septal defect. This past April I and my family had the great privilege to visit and thank him when we found him to be on the same recovery floor as my dad. What an extraordinary, kind, generous and precious soul he was. What an immeasurable legacy he left.

Barbara Haggerty

October 13, 2019

Dr. Reed was such a kind-hearted man, and I enjoyed every minute I spoke with him. Reading his memoir, I gained even more respect for the person he was. He truly lived life to the fullest. May he rest in eternal peace in heaven.

Jennifer Crocker

October 11, 2019

8 years ago I started as the Lobby Attendant at KU. Dr. Reed was always a kind face. He always had time for a hello or to go the extra mile for someone in need. From meeting him day one we always had a nice exchange in passing. Even after "retirement" he was active in the success of our hospital. Dr. Reeds kind leadership will be greatly missed and the halls will seem longer with out him.

Roy Jensen

October 8, 2019

A truly great man and consummate gentleman has passed from our mist. They don't make them like this anymore. My condolences to the Reed family and to the great group of professionals that Bill assembled on the KUMC Heart Care Team.

Elaine Hollenbeck Russell

October 4, 2019

I met Dr. Reed when I was 20 year old, a brand new OR nurse, as Dr. Reed would say, "she was fresh off the farm". From that initial meeting, when he was so intimidating to where that relationship turned into a friendship that lasted until the end. There are so many stories in between those 46+ years. I was fortunate enough to be his scrub nurse for 20-25 years, including his very last case. I will always cherish those memories.

What a legacy Dr. Reed leaves behind! There will never be another like him, so humble, but yet giving. I will miss him.

Elaine Hollenbeck Russell

Lisa Robie

October 4, 2019

I will miss sitting and listening to him tell me stories of the past he was a very kind and giving man. He will be missed.