Mr. Hugh G. Reeves, age 85, passed away on the morning of Saturday, June 15th, 2019 at his home in Woodbine, Ga.
Mr. Reeves was born on January 7th, 1934 in Clarks, Louisiana Caldwell Parish. He was the son of the late Troy J. and Beulah G. Reeves. Mr. Reeves had one sister, Kathryn Gordy and six brothers, Hershal, Bob, Bill, Howell, Troy, Frank, and Ralph Reeves, who all preceded him in passing.
When he was 9 years old, Mr. Reeves moved, in 1943, to St. Marys, Ga. so his father could begin work at Gilman Paper Company. At the age of 13, he lost his father to a heart attack. He started moving 100 lb blocks of ice on the shrimp boat as the boats would leave to go shrimping. By age 15 he went to work at Gilman Paper Company and remained there for 46 ½ years. After retiring, he went back to the mill for a couple more years as a fire watch for a contractor. He would use that money to go camping throughout Georgia and Tennessee.
He said when he was a boy, his dad called his mother and said, “Beulah get out here, your kids and my kids are beating the crap out of our kid.” In 1956 he was drafted into the US Army for 2 years. He told the army he didn’t want to go and they said he didn’t have to; they had 2 other places he could go, Alcatraz or Leavenworth, so into the Army he went. He spent 18 months in Germany and after he returned home he said he never wanted to see another snowflake as long as he lived. He said boot camp wasn’t much better; they had 2 hills to run, misery and agony. After getting out of the Army he went back to Gilman until he retired.
On November 7th, 1958, he married his beloved wife of 60 ½ years, Rhudeane “Dean” Crews Reeves. Their first date was at Steffen’s Restaurant on his motorcycle. Of course it began to rain and he had to borrow a friend’s car to carry her home in Woodbine. He later said after that date he told his mother he found the woman he was going to marry.
Together they had 2 sons, Terry and Troy. Mr. Reeves was a family man and loved fishing at Harrietts Bluff. He and his father-in-law, Mr. Henry, would stay there for 1-2 weeks at a time fishing. Hunting was also something he loved.
One time he hunted for a week and hadn’t seen a deer, then one stepped out and bang, meat on the ground. Well it was a doe, and it was “buck only” at that time. Off to the truck, putting the deer in the floorboard, there was only one problem, the truck would go for a mile or so and then shut off. So each time it shut off to the woods he went with the deer, fixed the truck, and then put the deer back in the truck. He did that about 2-3 times and felt like the DNR was behind every tree. Once at home, he pulled into the backyard to clean the deer and Dean said what did you do, shoot one of your dogs? Well he took offense and a few choice words were said, but it made for a few good meals. Later in life, Mr. Reeves kept bees for a few years and sold the honey and pollinating crops around the Valdosta area. It was hot working with bees in the summer heat.
When he retired from Gilman at 62 years old, he took up his sons’ hobby of racing dirt track cars. For 6 years he raced at Waycross and Golden Isles Speedways, and earned the nickname, Grumpy Old Man. That name stayed with him until his last race when in the heat of the race another car hit him, sent him up the track on turn four, and he hit the 5 foot guard rail. As the car went over it took off the back bumper, landed on the side and roof and finally landed on its wheels. He said that was it, no more racing, and his nephew, Jamie, ran the feature race that night.
Some may know him as Hugh, Uncle Hugh, Uncle Sonny, Sonny boy, or Grumpy, but all in all he was a good man, a provider, and a friend that was always there to help and teach you the way to do something. He was never afraid to get dirty if it meant getting the job done.
He always said, “You come into this world with your name only and what you do here is what people remember.” He will be remembered for the good man, father, husband, grandfather, and great-grandfather he was.
Mr. Reeves is survived by his beloved wife, Dean Reeves; his sons, Terry Reeves and Troy Reeves; his grandchildren, Amanda, James, and Brian; his great-grandchildren, Joey, Corey, and Connor; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
A visitation for Mr. Reeves will be held from 6 pm to 7 pm Thursday, June 20th, 2019 at Coastal Camden Funeral Home in Kingsland, Ga. Funeral services will follow immediately in the Woods-Wainwright Chapel of the funeral home with Pastor Eddie Rawl presiding.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made in Mr. Reeves’ name to Heartland Hospice or Hospice of the Golden Isles.
January 7, 1934 – June 15, 2019