Donor Profile: Andy Reti

Portrait of Andy Reti at his home in Prescott, Ariz. on August 4, 2016. (Matt Hinshaw/Arizona Rattlers)

Andy Reti of Prescott doesn’t mince words when it comes to his support and love for Arizona PBS. “Losing PBS would be like losing an eye,” he said. “I could no longer see life in the mountains, the whales in the oceans, the lions in the Serengeti. With PBS, they come to my living room, and their roars drown out the humdrum of daily life.”

Not that life is so humdrum for the retired civil engineer: Reti is regularly involved in Lifelong Learning classes at Yavapai College. There, he has taught computer skills to fellow seniors, coordinated a course about Alzheimer’s and gave classes to assist men in dealing with the stresses and adjustments of transitioning from work into retirement.

Reti shared this love of learning with his late mother, Dr. Margit Reti, who began her medical career in 1920s Hungary. She remained an active traveler into her mid-90s, and loved museums where she could find inspiration for her own paintings. Mother and son also shared their love of public television.

“Whenever I visited her,” Reti said, “she would extol the virtues of PBS programs with the admonition, ‘You must watch these if you want to stay educated!’”

Reti chose to honor their shared passions with a donation that will protect the future of programs like the ones his mother valued so highly.

Reti says that “Masterpiece” is his favorite show. “I was glued to the screen during ‘Downton Abbey,’” he said, mentioning Matthew Crawley as a favorite character. “I could really relate to the ‘outsider’ who makes his way into the family,” he added. His own wife, Jane, came from a large family in southern Illinois that would gather for reunions of 50 or more people. He also mentioned “Doc Martin” and “Charlie Rose” as other favorites.

“Arizona PBS has added variety, education and laughter (and sometimes tears) to my evenings,” Reti said. “PBS must live on, only to make us aware of what’s out there, beyond the walls, high up or deep down. I want to keep that window wide open – that’s why I made my donation.”

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