School 07

Delano "Del" Cleon Reeves

January 30, 1935 ~ January 13, 2022 (age 86)

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Delano “Del” C. Reeves of Lumberton passed away on Thursday, January 13, 2022.  Del was born January 30, 1935 in McComb, Mississippi to Bennie Boyd & TC Reeves. Del’s father died shortly after he was born. His Mother was unable to support her four children due to the Great Depression; therefore, Del spent the first 9 years of his life in an orphanage.  

In 1955, he married Ruby McIntosh of McComb, and they had 4 children before her death in 1967.

Del enlisted in the Army in 1953 at the age of 18. After 3 years, he decided to attend college where he was awarded a football and basketball scholarship to Southwest Mississippi Junior College.  In 1957, he re-enlisted in the Army and decided to make it a career. During his military service he served with the 11th Airborne Division, 3rd Armored Division, 4th Infantry Division, and was a Green Beret in the 1st, 7th, and 5th Special Forces Groups (Airborne). He graduated from Officer Candidate School in 1960. He completed 2 tours in Vietnam. During one of his tours, he was able to meet John Wayne who was there researching information and tactics for making the movie “The Green Berets”. 

On his 3rd tour in Vietnam, he was wounded in the line of duty spending 8 months in the hospital. Del was awarded the Purple Heart and the Silver Star. While hospitalized, he met his wife Sally at Tripler Army Hospital in Hawaii. Del was later awarded the Meritorious Service Medal. He retired from his military career as a Major at Fort Bragg, after 22 years of service. 

After retiring from the Army in 1975, Del attended Pembroke State University in North Carolina to get his Bachelor’s degree in Health and Physical Education. The family moved to Vidor, Texas in 1977 and Del began his coaching career which included Vidor Junior High, Buna HS, Lumberton HS, and LCM HS. He also coached 6-man football in Aquilla before retiring from coaching and teaching in 1992. 

Del spearheaded the renaming of the Neches River Bridge to the Purple Heart Memorial Bridge in Beaumont.  He spent several years and many hours meeting with authorities to make that come to fruition. It was important to him that those who received the Purple Heart medal were recognized for their sacrifice. He was an active member of the Purple Heart Chapter 1991 and the Golden Triangle Chapter 26 of the Military Officers Association of America.

His hobbies included golfing, fishing, reading, and traveling. He and his wife Sally traveled to many wonderful places such as Greece, Spain, Switzerland, and England. They also enjoyed many years of traveling in their RV with both the Smart Texans and the Gulf Coast Cruisers. Del was a member of Woodcrest Methodist Church in Lumberton. He loved his church, and attended faithfully until he was no longer physically able to do so.  

Del loved his family, especially his 4 children.  He was a strong leader and a wonderful provider. 

He was preceded in death by his parents, first wife Ruby McIntosh Reeves, brother Henry Reeves, sister Frances Stinnett, and brother Curtis Reeves.

He is survived by his wife Sally Reeves of 52 years, daughter Jan Edge & husband Donnie of Lumberton, son Dale Reeves of Kirbyville, son Lanny Reeves & wife Donna of Vidor, and daughter Carol Lindsey & husband Kevin of Lumberton, 7 grandchildren, numerous great grandchildren, and other family members and friends. 

A time of visitation for family and friends will be held on Saturday, January 22, 2022 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Lumberton Family Funeral Home (766 S. Main St., Lumberton, TX 77657). To honor Major Reeves' time of service to his country, final military honors will be held promptly at 2:30 p.m. at Lumberton Family Funeral Home during his time of visitation.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks you to make a donation to the Southeast Texas Veterans Group or Harbor Hospice.


Memorial Visitation
January 22, 2022

2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Lumberton Family Funeral Home
766 S. Main
Lumberton, TX 77657

Military Honors
January 22, 2022

2:30 PM
Lumberton Family Funeral Home, LLC.
766 S. Main St.
Lumberton, TX 77657

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