Jean Reaves passed away in Decatur, Alabama on Thursday August 20 after a short battle with pneumonia.
Jean loved Auburn more than any place on earth, and believed there are no better people than the people of Auburn. She lived in Auburn for more than 60 years.
Jean was born on June 16, 1931 in Jasper, Alabama. After high school she married Sam T. Jones, who was earning his Master’s Degree at Auburn. Shortly thereafter the pair moved to Baton Rouge for Sam to earn his PhD at Louisiana State University. Sam and Jean then returned to Auburn where Dr. Jones accepted a faculty position in the Department of Horticulture. During this time Sam and Jean were blessed with three children: Rick, Rusty and Betsy. After Sam died in 1969, Jean was lucky in love a second time when she married Carl Reaves also of Auburn. Jean and Carl were happily married for 46 years together, building a new home on Ferndale Drive and enjoying several years living abroad.
Jean had many accomplishments in life, including typing hundreds of dissertations and serving as Secretary of the Alabama 4-H Foundation, but she was primarily devoted to caring for her family. In her free time Jean was a champion bridge player, earning the rank of Life Master from the American Contract Bridge Association. She wrote a comprehensive guide to modern bridge entitled “Bridge with Jean” and taught bridge classes for many years from the basement of her home. Jean had a wonderful (often self-deprecating) sense of humor and believed that you should never let the truth get in the way of a good story. Jean was a wonderful cook, never needing a recipe, and has made thousands of pecan pies and pound cakes for her friends and family. Jean loved God, and taught her children the values of unconditional love and loyalty.
She is survived by her sons Rick (Donna) Jones, Rusty (Kathy) Jones, daughter Betsy (Skip) Hindman and step-daughter Brenda (Charles) Blankenship. Surviving siblings include Ruth (Edsel) Thomas, Betty (James) Buford and sister-in-law Betty (Bill) McCullar.
Jean’s beloved grandchildren include Ted (Shannon) Jones, Paige (Elishea) Jones, Meri (Dan Corson) Jones, Ben (Leigh) Jones, Matt (Jessica) Jones, Walter Hindman and Sandy Hindman. She had a very special relationship with her great grandchildren: Mabry, Liam, Rowan, Fen, Annie, Russell, Gray and Luke. Jean loved Carl’s grandchildren as well: Leslie (Jeff) Boykin, Adam (Angela) Blankeship, Kathy (Nick) Sparks, Jared (Katy) Ragsdale and their many children.
Jean is survived by nieces and nephews: Gail (Wayne) Sherer, Diane (Michael) Pevsner, LaDonna (Barry) Brown, Pam (Chuck) Measel, Linda (Dennis) Rowe, Hugh (Tamyra) Buford, Allen Buford, Edsel Thomas, Jr. Anita Tucker Smith, Beverly Tucker (Vern) Beitzel, Kaki Tucker (Doug) Barto, Jim (Karen) Tucker, Beth Scott, Bill (Gloria) Tidwell, Jimmy (Sharon) Tidwell, Freddie (Marilyn) Watts, and Chuck (Alyson) Lindsey.
She was preceded in death by her husbands, Sam T. Jones and Carl A. Reaves, brothers Lonnie J. McCullar, Billy L. McCullar, sister, Vetra Sherer and step daughter Chris Carr.
The family will have a graveside service this weekend in Auburn with Dr. Tripp Martin of Auburn First Baptist Church officiating. The family respectfully declines the gift of flowers but donations in Jean’s memory can be made to the First Baptist Church of Auburn, Alabama or the charity of your choice.
Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home of Opelika, AL is directing.