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Lela Faye Richardson Reeves died January 19, 2023 at Alleghany Memorial Hospital. She was born in the Whitehead community of Alleghany County, NC, the daughter of Meredith L. and Ethelyn Edwards Richardson and is preceded in death by her husband Cleo, brothers Earl and Paul Richardson, and sisters Hazel Pugh and Betty Edwards and great-grandson Josiah Truitt. She is survived by her daughter Sylvia Reeves Truitt and husband Phillip of Sparta; grandchildren Greg Truitt and wife Terri of Mt. Airy and Christi Truitt Gobble and husband Matthew of Statesville; four great grandchildren, and ten great-great grandchildren. She is also survived by her half-brother Lloyd Richardson and wife Melissa, as well as many beloved nieces and nephews, and dear friends that she counted as family.
She was married on June 7, 1946 to her best friend and love of her life, Cleo, whom she met while attending grade school in Sparta. She often recounted how one day she was in the high school activity room and heard him singing and playing a guitar given to him by his brother Del Reeves. It was the beginning of a relationship that survived World War II and led to their wedding when he returned from the war. It was a marriage that was filled with love and music that lasted 61 years.
Faye attended Draughon Business College in Winston-Salem but returned to Sparta when a position in the office of the District Health Department opened. She retired after 30 years. During those years she was active in the N.C. Public Health Association, serving a term on its Board of Directors, and president of the Secretaries Association of that group. She also represented the Health Department on the Preventive Dentistry Board and BROC Headstart and was active in many community organizations throughout her life.
Following her retirement and that of Cleo from the US Post Office, they opened two businesses with family members, Village Shoe-Inn and Village Antiques in Trojan Village. She and Cleo enjoyed traveling, taking a memorable six country European Tour for the 25th anniversary of D-Day where they visited much of the area where Cleo had fought including the Battle of the Bulge. They returned via New York and the World’s Fair of 1964.
Shortly after their marriage, she and Cleo joined Sparta United Methodist Church and sang in the choir for 48 years and were active in all aspects of the church. They were honored in 1989 with a plaque for a lifetime of dedication. She served as Lay Leader of the church for two three-year terms and as a delegate to the Western NC Annual Conference for ten years. She also served as church treasurer, youth leader, Sunday school teacher, President of the United Methodist Women and various other offices.
Her family and friends remember her for her gourmet cooking and fire cracker wit. She counted herself blessed to have lived long, loved deeply, and always felt the presence of God in her life.
Family and friends will gather at Sparta United Methodist Church on Monday, January 23, 2023 at 2:00pm to celebrate her life. Rev. Michelle Foster-Beckerleg will be officiating. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service beginning at 1pm at the church. Burial will follow in the Sparta Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers the family requests memorials be directed to Sparta United Methodist Church, PO Box 697, Sparta, NC 28675.
Thomas Family Funeral Service is honored to be serving the Reeves Family. If you wish, online tributes may be extended to the family at www.thomasfamilyfs.com.
Sparta United Methodist Church
PO Box 697, Sparta NC 28675