David Leslie Reeves, Sr., 77 years old, died at home from heart failure on Sept. 10. Willie Watkins Funeral Home is managing arrangements. A memorial service will be held at a date to be determined.
David was the only child born to Lois Harmon Reeves and Eugene Reeves in Washington, Indiana on August 26, 1944. Following their divorce, he moved with his mother to Salisbury, NC, where she was the director of student health services at Livingstone College. He grew up on the campus and attended St. Emma Military Academy, an historically black, Catholic, Military, Boarding School in Powhatan, VA. from grades eight through 12.
Upon graduation he attended Morehouse College, where he pledged and joined the Pi Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in business in 1968, during the height of the Vietnam War. Rather than be drafted, he enlisted into the officer’s candidate training school of the United States Marine Corps. After completing OCS, he was commissioned a USMC Lieutenant and placed in charge of a battalion in Vietnam. However, a non-combat injury sent him home. He mustered out in 1972 with the rank of Captain.
He made his home in Atlanta where he met and married M. Alexis Scott in 1974. She was a single mom and David adopted her son, Cinque, from a previous marriage. Later they had another son, David L. Reeves, Jr.
David Sr, graduated from the John Marshall Law School in Atlanta in 1979 and was thrilled to have both his parents attend the graduation ceremony and celebration. David went on to work in political campaigns, staffed a precinct on election days and always encouraged people to register and vote. He could be seen holding his “Register to Vote” sign on his daily jogs through the Hunter Hills Neighborhood up and down Martin Luther King Jr Drive, and during the annual Peachtree Road Race, which he enjoyed for several years.
Following a failed bid for a seat on the Atlanta City Council in 1981, David worked in the 1982 gubernatorial campaign of Joe Frank Harris, who won and served two terms as governor through 1991. David took at job in the administration but came out to work for Ambassador Andrew Young’s 1990 bid for Georgia governor. Young was the first major black candidate to run for governor of Georgia. Campaign workers enjoyed seeing David bring his two-year-old son David Jr. to the campaign office on a regular basis.
While Young’s campaign was unsuccessful, David continued his community service by becoming a member of the Board od Deacons at First Congregational Church. He and his family also annually hosted dinners for incoming first-year students at Morehouse and his family hosted international students during Christmas time through the Georgia Council of International Visitors.
He became an active member of the Atlanta Chapter of the 100 Black Men. He was a key volunteer for the annual benefit football game, initially called the Ebony Football Classic, at the Georgia Dome. The popular event benefited the educational programs of the chapter and featured two historically black colleges or universities with their exciting marching bands.
David later became corporate spouse and a stay-at-home Dad in 1993, when his wife Alexis went from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution to work at Cox Enterprises, its corporate headquarters. He became an active parent volunteer at their son’s school – The Children’s School, — working the carpool lanes on 10th Street on a regular basis.
He also became active in Sunday School, starting a class for adults to study the work and teachings of the great mystic and theologian Howard Thurman, whom he had a chance to meet through his mother who was classmates with Thurman’s wife Sue Bailey Thurman at Hampton University. David’s class was extremely popular, and he was elected Sunday School Father of the year for his leadership and participation.
David also developed what came to be known as the “Keep- in-Touch Ministry” at First Congregational Church. Each year, he got contact information for every college student/church member and sent them regular notes of encouragement. He promoted the activity through the church bulletin and encouraged others to “keep in touch.”
He loved to be around people. His mother was the oldest of twelve and he had many, many cousins who were like siblings to him. Upon his mother’s retirement she moved to Atlanta where a handful of her sisters also lived. They enjoyed family dinners together on holidays and reunions, held mostly in Atlanta, but also back at the Harmon Family hometown of Washington, Indiana.
Only one of the twelve survives – Rose Harmon Johnson of Washington, Indiana. She had twelve children too, and the family basketball game at the reunions was billed as “The Johnsons Against the World.”
David also loved the beaches just east of Destin on the Florida panhandle. He and his family discovered them when Cinque won a prize weekend at a beach and tennis resort while being a ball boy at an annual AT&T Tennis Tournament in Atlanta. Cinque’s prize led to the purchase of a beach home for the family. The beach became a retreat for the whole family. In 1997, when Alexis left Cox to assume the helm of her family’s business – Atlanta Daily World, David looked for his own dream as an entrepreneur the following year. With his business partner he moved with his younger son to New Mexico for the summer.
While David Jr. returned home at the end of the summer, David Sr. and Alexis divorced to pursue separate paths.
David maintained his church’s “Keep-In-touch” ministry for more than a decade. In 2011 he was married briefly to Janice L. Lawrence. In 2017, he retired after 16 years from the Georgia Department of Human Resources, where he was a community outreach manager in the division of Family and Children Services.
David also continued to work on election days at Fire Station #16 on Boone Blvd (formerly Simpson Road) as a precinct manager. And he expanded on his keep-in-touch church ministry with his own personal outreach to family and friends with his daily messages by way of texts or emails until the last week of his life.
Besides his two sons, Cinque Scott Reeves and David L. Reeves Jr. of Sandy Springs, and his Aunt Rose of Washington, Indiana, he is survived by his many cousins and friends. Instead of flowers, his sons would like you to remember him with a donation to the First Congregational Church Endowment Fund.