Fayette says goodbye to one of the county’s community and civic leaders, Frances Reeves, 98

Frances Reeves,98, longtime Fayette civic leader

Walter Frances Cowart Reeves, 98, of Inman, Ga., Fayette County, passed away on Nov. 3, 2017 after a long and full life.

Frances was born Jan. 8, 1919 in Union City, Ga. Her father, Walter Cowart, was a business and civic leader in Union City, East Point, and College Park. Her mother, Fannye Phillips Cowart, died when Frances was 9. Frances graduated from Campbell County High School and enrolled at the University of Georgia at age 16.

There, she majored in Social Sciences, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 1939 and accepted as a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi and Alpha Lambda Delta. She received her Master’s in Economics in 1940.

At the outbreak of World War II, she enlisted in the Women’s Army Corps (WACS). During several deployments, she rose to the rank of 1st Lieutenant. After separation, Frances was hired as Executive Director of the Tallahassee Girl Scout Council.

She enrolled in Atlanta Law School in 1948 but health problems forced her to postpone her studies. She moved to Fayette County in late 1948 and bought a small farm, to raise chickens and trace-mineralized vegetables while she taught science at Fayette County High School.

At a housewarming party, Frances was introduced to Frank Reeves, a local farmer, civic leader and World War II veteran. Discovering mutual interests, the two were married in 1950. Three sons and two daughters followed in the next nine years. While raising a family, Frances taught high school for two years.

Native Fayette Countians remember the maps to local fishing ponds she distributed as “Frances, The Fisherman’s Friend.” When Frank began selling Farm Bureau insurance, Frances served as secretary for the local Farm Bureau chapter for several years. During this time, she also sold World Book Encyclopedias, prepared tax returns, and was an editor at Fayette County News. Always active in civic affairs, Frances promoted zoning issues, school bonds, and the Democratic Party.

In retirement, Frances continued her tax work and became involved with AARP, the Fayette Human Services Council, and the Mental Health Association. She was a strong advocate for building the Fayette Senior Services Center. The garden there was built in her honor. Always interested in local history, Frances authored “A Short History of Fayette County.” Frances enjoyed her trips with Elderhostel and with her local “Happy 5th” group.

Over the years, she was honored as Fayette Woman of the Year, the Fayette NAACP Citizen of the Year, and received the 2006 WXIA-TV Community Service Award. Frances flew on the inaugural Fayette Honor Flight for veterans to visit Washington, D.C. The United Way Volunteer of the Year award was renamed in her honor. She was a life-long member of the Church of Christ.

She is survived by her children: Walter, Robert (Teresa), Alan (Barbara), Carol (Philip Zweig) and Nancy (Kent Player). Frances is also survived by 8 grandchildren, Philip, Erin, and Emily Reeves, David and Rachel Zweig, Kelly and Ross Logsdon, Grey East, 1 great grandchild, Coby Reeves, numerous nieces and nephews and her half-sister, Jane Upchurch. In her last years, Frances was lovingly cared for by Laverine Francis and Sherri Simpson-Lynch.

Frances’ motto in life was “Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.” You can honor her memory by following this rule.

Visitation will be held at Mowell Funeral Home on Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Funeral services will be held at the Chapel of Mowell Funeral Home, Fayetteville on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017 at 2 p.m., followed by interment at Camp Memorial Park, next to her husband.