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Howard Eugene Reeves, Sr passed away on November 7, 2023. He was born in Niceville, Florida on March 13, 1942, to parents Avery Edward Reeves and Bessie Mae Goodwin. Gene spent his life living and working in the panhandle of Florida. Gene owned and ran a successful mechanic/transmission business in Crestview for many years until his retirement, and he and his beloved wife of 59 years, Myrlene, raised a beautiful family here in the area.
Gene was a longtime member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in DeFuniak Springs. He served as Bishop there for 7 years, and he and his wife, Myrlene, served a year as missionaries for the Church. He found great joy in serving in the Church – participating in activities, service opportunities, and work with the youth in the Church.
Along with time spent being active in the Church, Gene treasured time with family. He highly prioritized relationships with his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. They all got to spend precious time with him enjoying the gift of the outdoors through hunting, fishing, riding horses, and just being together. Each of his children holds special memories of outdoor adventures with their daddy, a true sportsman. One of his sons specifically holds dear afternoons Gene spent playing catch with him in the front yard, even after a long day at work, and time shared fishing together – even though not much was ever caught! The quality time spent sitting together during that time was priceless to his family members. He was absolutely the best Paw Paw, and his own children are all so blessed to have gotten to see the special relationships their own children, his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Gene also loved his dogs (especially bulldogs) and animals, and he passed along that tenderness toward and affection for animals to his children. A devoted fan of Alabama football, he watched the games with fervor and always showed confidence in his team by reminding Myrlene to “Calm down. They will be ok.”
Each of Gene’s 6 children have countless cherished memories that they will always hold dear. One shared a birthday with her dad and was considered his best birthday present ever. Another remembers him teaching her to work on cars, picking peppers in the garden, and performing the ceremony for her marriage. A lifelong love of racing was birthed from time Gene spent building a race car with a son. The hours he devoted coaching their ball teams did not go unnoticed either. Playing ball, hunting, fishing, walking, talking – being present is one of the greatest gifts he gave his children. He was steady and strong – the oak that put everyone at peace any times things were ‘swaying and chaotic’. He set a solid example as a hardworking and honest man who loved his family and who served the Lord. His smile will never be forgotten. He lived the gospel, and he loved his family.
Gene is preceded in death by his parents, Avery and Bessie Mae Reeves, and by brothers Robert “Sleepy” Reeves, Glenn Reeves, and Wesley Reeves.
He is survived by his wife, Myrlene Allen Reeves, by his 6 children: Kimberly Carroll, Howie Reeves (Melissa), Jenni Bilderback (Grant), Jason Reeves (Holly), Mindy Sherrer (Scott), and Alison Kidd (Danny), and by his 2 sisters: Elizabeth Freeman and Linda Lane (Jerry). He also leaves behind a beautiful legacy of 38 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren – with 3 more on the way!
People who knew Gene will long remember the compassion he had for others and that he was always willing to share whatever he had. He always made time for others and put himself last. He was the calm in the room. Always honest and fair with anyone he dealt with, without hesitation he would give the shirt off his back for those in need. He was the most giving, honest, compassionate, trustworthy, and integrity-filled man most will ever meet.
He will greatly be missed by all who were blessed to call him family or friend.
“Families are forever, and we are an eternal family. “
There will be a time of visitation on Friday, November 10, 2023 at 10AM at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Funeral service will begin at 11AM.