IN MEMORIAM - MARY REEVES
I feel very sad to report that Mary Reeves died approximately at 12:30 p.m. on November 11, 1999. She was seventy years of age and suffering from Alzheimer disease
Visitation was from 5-9 p.m., Friday the 12th of November and 9-12 a.m., Saturday the 13th of November at the Spring Hill funeral home in Madison.
Mary was laid to rest on Saturday at about 2:00 p.m. in a private service at the Spring Hill Cemetery in Madison, Tennessee.
Only a few of Mary's close friends had been invited by Mary's second husband, Terry Davis. Among those were former Blue Boys Bunky Keels and Leo Jackson and his wife. Unfortunately Leo couldn't , but his wife did go to the funeral service and reported: " The crowd was small, only forty to fifty people, among them Mary's brother Fred and his wife and cousin Bill. They were the only White family, none from the Reeves family, Terry's family and friends were most of the attendants. Somebody sang like six songs, it was probably kinfolk. It was a long service, but well done. Terry spoke the longest. Mary was placed in a mausoleum. It's a beautiful place where Terry laid her to rest, the ceilings are arched with wooden or ash beams, it has skylights, the sun shine through stained glass windows, it has marble floors, and even a waterfall. It's a place fit to a queen". Leo agreed she was a queen and will always be in the hearts of us and love her.
Among those buried at the Spring Hill Cemetery is Dean Manuel, Jim's piano player, who died together with Jim that fateful day in July of 1964.
With the death of Mary another chapter in the Jim Reeves Story has been closed. After Jim's death Mary kept Jim's alive for 30 years until the rights to the Jim Reeves' music and the Jim Reeves enterprises were sold. We who love the music of Jim Reeves, will never forget what she has done and her name and memory will be closely attached to Jim forever.
Many fans who have visited the museum have met her and were given the special treatment which Mary gave if she had time. She listened to them and understood their feelings, and was very attentive and caring.
I remember well the only time my former wife and I visited Nashville in 1976, we took a bus to her office in Madison, which she extensively showed to us, we met the staff and she drove us to her house at Westchester 400, Madison. There we met her mother, whom, if I am correct, lived with her at that time. Many items which were later on display in the museum, were in the house. She didn't allow us to take any photographs inside the house, but I did manage to take photographs of Jim's bus, which was parked on the driveway. She drove us back to our hotel in downtown Nashville, for she was worried for our safety if we took a bus to get back in the evening. According to Leo Jackson, that was typically Mary Reeves.
It is very sad that she got Alzheimer's disease and that she had to live in miserable conditions for the last years of her live.
Many European fans will have special memories about the visits she took to the Wembley Festival in London, England, and to The Netherlands and Scandinavia in the early 70's. The publicity gained by those visits attracted more people to buy Jim's records.
By coincidence, we recently reprinted a 1967 interview with Mary Reeves by Dean Dixie, the wife of Tom T. Hall, in the two issues of the fan club magazine.
As mentioned earlier, another chapter has been closed, but the Jim Reeves Story is an open book and we owe it to Mary Reeves to make sure it stays that way!