John David Reynolds of Lake Placid passed away peacefully at his home on May 26, 2022 at the age of 80.
Born in Amsterdam, New York, JD, as his friends and family called him, lived in Lake Placid for over 40 years. He graduated from Vermont Academy in 1960 and then from St. Lawrence University in 1964.
He began his career at the Hartford Insurance Company, but quickly moved into the commercial flooring industry working for Mohawk Carpet. He then founded Rapid Designs, a manufacturer of whitewater kayaks and paddles. Rapid Designs was the first kayak manufacturer to incorporate Kevlar fibers into their kayak design. Later, he returned to the commercial flooring business, but this time founding his own company, Reynolds Associates. He was a consultant for architecture and design firms and also had several employees. He ran this successful Boston-based business, but resided in Lake Placid for long weekends to be with his family.
JD was an avid sportsman. During his high school and college studies, he participated in all three snow sports: jumping, downhill/slalom and cross-country skiing. As a young man, JD spent a lot of time in Speculator, NY, working as a lifeguard and teaching anyone who had fun waterskiing. It was here at Speculator’s Oak Mt. that he learned downhill skiing. JD loved ski racing and raced into his 60s and skied recreationally until the end of his life.
JD was the first Chairman of the Board of the New York Ski Educational Foundation and was inducted into its Hall of Fame in 2021. He loved F1Racing and was also an avid angler, particularly obsessed with fly fishing the Atlantic salmon. He traveled to Canada, Iceland and Russia to pursue this passion. JD was constantly on the go, and in the warmer months he could be seen running or biking in the Adirondack Park.
JD was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. He always supported his sons and encouraged all their endeavors, aspirations and adventures. Whether it was downhill skiing, Atlantic salmon fishing or travelling, JD jumped at every opportunity and strongly encouraged those around him to take the plunge as well. He passed on his love of skiing and ski racing to all of his children and grandchildren, watching them with great pride.
JD has also taken his passions abroad to Europe with a particular focus on skiing in the Alps, exploring culture and meeting friends. However, he especially loved Lake Placid. Along with his wife, Diane, he was delighted to share it with his children, friends, and later grandchildren, at the family’s Signal Hill home and boathouse on Lake Placid.
JD was a fiercely loyal friend. He had a magnetic personality attracting countless close relationships over the years. He himself was unique in being an engaging, energetic and straightforward person with a great sense of humor. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him.
He is survived by his wife, Diane, of 57 years; his three sons and their wives, John and Alexandra, of Rowayton, CT, Andrew and Nell, of Hanover, NH, and Steven and Brooks, of Lake Placid, as well as eight grandchildren, Olivia, Jake, Anna, Peter, Andrea , Emma, Thomas and Ava. A memorial service will be held in July.
Those wishing to honor JD may do so by making a donation to: The Alpine Ski Endowment at St. Lawrence University, 23 Romoda Drive Canton, NY 13617, or Atlantic Salmon Federation, PO Box 807, Calais, ME 04619.
MB Clark, Inc. Funeral Home in Lake Placid is responsible for arrangements. Please visit www.mbclarkfuneralhome.com to share a memory or leave your condolences.