Mary Reeves
Memorial Service
December 11, 1999
Page One

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A picture of those who attended








Jim's nieces, Lani Arnold (center) with her sisters Kay (left) and Carolyn







Ed Gregory (who bought the Reeves estate) on left, Jim Ed Brown, and Mrs. Tom (Billie) Perryman

On December 11, 1999, a group of friends, co-workers and family members gathered at the Texas Troubadour Theater in Nashville to pay tribute to Mary Reeves, widow of the legendary Jim Reeves.

Joyce Jackson, secretary to Jim Reeves and long-time employee and friend of Mary's, along with Tom and Billie Perryman, also friends and business partners of Mary's and Jim's, spearheaded the afternoon.

Among those who attended and made a verbal tribute to Mary were Bud Logan, who was lead singer of "The Blue Boys," Jim's band. David McCormick, (owner of the Ernest Tubb Record Shop), who so graciously gave of his time and donated the use of the Troubadour Theater, also read two moving poems which he felt depicted the way Mary was and would want to be remembered. Those who had known Mary for so many years agreed with David on his selection of poetry.

Lani Arnold, Jim's niece from Shreveport, Louisiana, also told of how much Mary had affected her life and the lives of her mother Virgie Thomas, one of Jim's sisters. Lani's two sisters Kay and Carolyn came with her. Another family member, Wayne McNeese, one of Jim's nephews, drove down from Louisville, Kentucky, not only for himself, but also to represent Jim's sister Luie McNeese.

Opry members Jim Ed Brown and Jimmy "C" Newman, and Jimmy's wife Mae, were in attendance but did not speak. Also present was Ed Gregory, chairman of United Shows, Inc., which purchased the Jim Reeves estate.

Well-known music business personality Biff Collie's widow Barbara, and renowned WSM announcer T. Tommy Cutrer's widow Vicky, were also present. Both had been friends of Mary's and Jim's for many years.

Television producer Bayron Binkley was in the audience, as well as Frank and Jeanie Oakley, who have the Willie Nelson Museum.

Billy Deaton, the late Faron Young's manager and booking agent, also attended. Billy was the first recording artist for Jim's label, Shannon records.

A letter of tribute was read from Ray Baker, who managed Jim's music publishing firms. A letter was also read from Larry Jordan, author of the forthcoming new biography on Jim, describing his friendship with Mary since he was 13.

Notably absent from the tribute to Mary were longtime bandmember Leo Jackson, as well as Jim Reeves Enterprises employees Ginny King and Darla Kent, all of whom had been named in Mary's will.

Joyce Jackson commented, "It was just a fun time of sharing some wonderful stories about how much Mary was loved, and to show the type of person she was. She had the God-given talent of true laughter even in trying times, and we will all miss her and that infections laugh that always made you laugh with her. Our day of remembering Mary was our way of bringing some kind of closure for us all."

Joyce worked tirelessly for several days preparing the food which was served, as well as getting friends of Mary's to sign a big placard that will be sent to the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in Jim's hometown of Carthage, Texas in Mary's honor.

Many other people had been invited but expressed their regrets that they could not attend due to prior commitments.

Jim's widow Mary passed away on November 11, 1999 in a Nashville nursing home. Although there was a public viewing, the funeral was closed to her many close friends and co-workers on orders of her second husband, Terry Davis.


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