James Harmon Reid, 78, who drove postmasters general on their appointed rounds in Washington for a generation, died May 28 of cancer at his home in Clinton.

Mr. Reid retired from three careers and was driving limousines part time as recently as last winter for the same funeral home that was to oversee his own last cortege. He was supervising chauffeur for the Postal Service, and his final commendation upon his retirement in 1990 specifically cited his service to the then-Postmaster General Anthony M. Frank.

Mr. Reid was born in Rocky Mount, N.C., and moved with his family to Washington at age 12. He graduated from the old Armstrong High School in 1939 and worked briefly for the Navy Department.

He joined the Post Office Department as a letter carrier in 1942, but his job was interrupted by World War II. He served with the Army from 1942 to 1945 and remained in the Army Reserve until 1981.

At the Postal Service, he stopped carrying mail early on, moving into the special delivery field and then into the extra-special delivery of executives in the agency's L'Enfant Plaza headquarters. There, Mr. Reid became supervising chauffeur, driving and overseeing the work of a corps of as many as a dozen drivers.

After his retirement from that career, he worked seven years as a school bus driver for the Prince George's County Board of Education, retiring again in 1997.

Mr. Reid continued to drive on a part-time basis for the next year.

His first wife, Evelyn R. Reid, died in 1971.

Survivors include his wife, Bernardine Shief Reid, and their son, Jonathan Taylor Reid, both of Clinton; two children from his first marriage, James Shelton Reid of Atlanta and Janice Reid Proctor of Clinton; six grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.