Remembering John Reeves –

 

My friend, John Reeves died Thursday, morning at 9:30 AM. John checked into Providence Hospital with an asthma attack on Tuesday, suffered an aneurysm on his brain early Wednesday morning, and was pronounced dead on Friday morning. His funeral will take place on Thursday, April 27, 2017 at 11 AM at the Plymouth United Church of Christ, 600 E. Warren Ave. Detroit, Michigan 48201. A family hour will take place from 10 AM- 11 AM immediately preceding the funeral. His body will lie in state for viewing at the church from 2 PM Wednesday, April 26, 2017 until 7 PM.

I met John and his wife, Pam early in my ministry, 1976. They were new, young parents of two extraordinarily smart and cute daughters, Christa and Kelly who attended the Plymouth Day Care Center, which was located on the lower level of the church. Pam and John would talk with me often in the mornings or when they would return to pick up their daughters. We became great friends.

In 1984, my father resigned from the pastorate of the church. I was named the interim senior minister. John and Pam were very supportive of me during that period. They waited to join the church until I was elected pastor and senior minister. John and Pam were part of a group of fifteen persons who delayed joining the church until they were sure I was elected as pastor.

Throughout my ministry, John and Pam have been two of the most supportive members of the church. I found John to be kind, sensitive to church members from every walk and stripe, introspective, and visionary. Over the last 32 years, John has served the church as moderator, chairman of the deacon board, chairman of the trustee board, served on every major committee and project that we have undertaken as a church.

As important as the elective offices John held in the church was the role he played personally with me. John and I talked a lot about the nuances of leadership in the church. Plymouth United Church of Christ during my pastorate has been remarkably peaceful, positive and proactive. John Reeves often helped me behind the scenes by talking to members who were upset about this or that and in his own way smoothed ruffled feathers.

John was an elected member of the Southfield, Michigan City Council. Because he and I both served as elected members of city councils- John in Southfield and me in Detroit, we often traded notes, strategies and shared a lot of laughs about some of the silly things that happen in local units of government.

John’s spirit and perspective were so magnanimous and larger than life, I believe that at another point in time, he would be a great representative in Congress, an ambassador or even a president of the United States. John Reeves lived with an even temperament, an easy laugh and was slow to anger. I do not ever recall seeing John become angry.

My prayers are with Pam, Christa and Kelly, her husband, Dr. Shawn Black and son, young Shawn. My sympathy is also extended to John’s sister, Beverly Triplett, her husband Bill and their daughters, Kim and Kyra. I realize that there are others in the family that I do not know as well, and my prayers and sympathies are extended to them as well.

I will miss John Reeves for his friendship, support at the church, and most of all, the wonderful example of manhood, fatherhood and being a husband, that I have seen in him.

 

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III