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603 South Center Street
Phone: (704) 873-3611
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About An Amazing Life|Help

Sarah Lee

March 15, 1919 – August 28, 2018

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Sarah Reeves Sarah Reeves Sarah Reeves Sarah Reeves Sarah Reeves Sarah Reeves Sarah Reeves Sarah Reeves Sarah Reeves Sarah Reeves Sarah Reeves Sarah Reeves Sarah Reeves Sarah Reeves Sarah Reeves Sarah Reeves Sarah Reeves Sarah Reeves Sarah Reeves Sarah Reeves Sarah Reeves Sarah Reeves Sarah Reeves Sarah Reeves Sarah Reeves
Memorial Candles Lit for Sarah | SEE ALL
"We are honored to provide this Book of Memories to the family."
— Rutledge & Bigham Mortuary, Inc.

Obituary for Sarah Lee Reeves

Sarah Lee Reeves was the fourth of five children born to the late Robert Lee and Suddie James Reeves. She was born on March 15, 1919 in Statesville, North Carolina and entered into eternal rest on Tuesday, August 28, 2018 at the age of 99. Two brothers, Charles F. Reeves, Sr. and Franklin Otto Reeves; two sisters, Ruth Reeves Reid and Genevieve Reeves McCrea and brother-friend , James Lincoln Heaggans, Sr. preceded her in death.
Miss Reeves was raised in Statesville and graduated from Morningside Negro High School in 1936. Sarah continued her education at Livingstone College in Salisbury where she earned an Arts and Sciences degree in 1945. Upon graduating, she was accepted into the Eckels College of Mortuary Science. She graduated in 1947 and became a trailblazer by being not only the first female embalmer, but the first Black female embalmer in NC. In 1954, she was the first center supervisor at the Garfield Recreation Center after it opened. Sarah worked at the Rutledge and Bigham Funeral Home in Statesville, NC as a mortician and the supervisor of the Garfield Recreation Center until she moved to Baltimore, MD to reside with two of her best friends, James and Karee Heaggans, whose kids she raised as if they were her own. Sarah spent most of her adult years in Baltimore working for the City of Baltimore, Department of Recreation and Parks. She served as a Director of various recreation centers where she went above and beyond, at times using her own money, to create safe, educational, fun- and sport-filled environments for many inner-city youth. Aunt Sarah, as she was affectionately called, inspired many to turn their lives around and to follow in her footsteps. In 1982, she broke the hearts of the community by announcing her decision to retire and move back to Statesville, NC.
She then took classes to perfect new hobbies: ceramics, sculpturing, painting and music. Aunt Sarah wanted to teach her love of ceramics to the masses and received approval from the Statesville city officials to start an arts and crafts program at the Garfield Recreation Center. Aunt Sarah was also an avid gardener. Her awe inspiring rose bushes beautified the neighborhood and were featured in The Statesville Records and Landmark newspaper. She loved swimming and continued to do so as a form of exercise. Wanting to challenge herself, Sarah entered senior citizen swimming competitions, and she was unbeatable. She also received many awards in Baltimore and Statesville for her outstanding and dedicated services to the people.
Until her death, Miss Reeves was the oldest known living graduate from Morningside High School. When they tore down the school, she made a replica of the school using one of its bricks. It was one of her prized possessions. Miss Reeves started the Morningside Reunion which included a scholarship program for young people who are relatives of former Morningside students planning to go to college. Both programs are going strong today.
Miss Reeves leaves to cherish her memory: a sister-in-law, Helen Louise Reeves of Silver Spring, Maryland; three nieces, Jacqueline Tillman of Forestville, Maryland, Almasi Wilcots of Landover, MD, LaTonya Reeves of Teaneck, NJ; one nephew Charles Reeves, Jr. of Teaneck, NJ; sister-friend Karee Mills Heaggans of Statesville, NC; two goddaughters her namesake Sarah Yvonne Heaggans (Victor) of Pikesville, MD and Lisa Adele Heaggans of Mooresville, NC; her loving caregiver Laverne Wilkes of Mooresville, NC, countless other godchildren and a host of family and friends.
Dear Aunt Sarah, my other Mother

I am writing this with such a heavy heart. You were such an amazing and phenomenal human being who was loved by all.

So much of what I know I learned from you. You were the best mother, and I was the luckiest daughter.

There’s no one in this world who means what you do to me and no one who could possibly take your place in this family and in my heart.

Thanks for all the ways you were like a mom.

Thanks for all the ways you were like a friend.

Thanks for all the ways that you were unlike any other mother.

I would like to thank God for blessing you with 99 years of life and bringing you into our family. We are all better for it.

I love you with all my heart.

Until we meet again, I will miss you all the days of my life.

Lovingly submitted by your Goddaughter Sarah Yvonne

Sarah Reeves was a very proud alumna of Morningside High School and Livingston College, and she willingly and faithfully served on their reunion organizing committees until her health prevented her from doing so.
On a more personal note, Aunt Sarah did not like to cook, but she absolutely loved food: KFC was one of her favorites, and a very, very rare steak was another.
Aunt Sarah was the epitome of grace, love, peace and truth. She lived by the statement of which she would always end her prayers “make me ever mindful of the needs of others” and by the creed of the Peace Prayer of Saint Francis.
Prayer of Saint Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me bring love.
Where there is offense, let me bring pardon.
Where there is discord, let me bring union.
Where there is error, let me bring truth.
Where there is doubt, let me bring faith.
Where there is despair, let me bring hope.
Where there is darkness, let me bring your light.
Where there is sadness, let me bring joy.
O Divine Master, let me not seek as much
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love,
for it is in giving that one receives,
it is in self-forgetting that one finds,
it is in pardoning that one is pardoned,
it is in dying that one is raised to eternal life

Impeccable Aunt Sarah
The face of a hibiscus smiles,
Smiles for her community.

The heart of a mother pours,
Pours out all the love for family and friends.

The song of an educator lives,
Lives on through the contributions she’s made.

The love for a heroine grows,
Grows each day with every face, heart and soul.

Our heroine is a kind spirit
Who shares her love and wisdom to all.

She is like a large eagle that spreads her wings to help and accept all.
As she grows everyone grows inside with her.

Definitely a woman who captures the heart,
mind and soul of others.

by Mervelle Sage
Acknowledged Poet

God’s Plan

And although it sometimes seems to us
our prayers have not been heard,
God always knows our very need
Without a single word…
And He will not forsake us
Even though the way seems steep.
For always He is near to us –
A tender watch to keep…
And in good time He’ll answer us
and in his love He’ll send
And blessings without end…
So though we do understand
why trouble comes to man
can we not be content just to know

Submitted by The Family

Aunt Sarah loved writings with a play on words.
Below is one she loved.

26 Beautiful One Liners

1. Give God what’s right – not what’s left.
2. Man’s way leads to a hopeless end – God’s way leads to an endless hope.
3. A lot of kneeling will keep you in good standing.
4. He who kneels before God can stand before anyone.
5. In the sentence of life, the devil may be a comma—but never let him be the period.
6. Don’t put a question mark where God puts a period.
7. Are you wrinkled with burden? Come to the church for a face-lift.
8. When praying, don’t give God instructions – just report to duty.
9. Don’t wait for six strong men to take you to church.
10. We don’t change God’s message – His message changes us.
11. The church is prayer-conditioned.
12. When God ordains, He sustains.
13. WARNING: Exposure to the Son may prevent burning.
14. Plan ahead – It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.
15. Most people want to serve God, but only in an advisory position,
16. Suffering from truth decay? Brush up on your Bible.
17. Exercise daily—walk with th Lord.
18. Never give the devil a ride – he will always want to drive.
19. Nothing else ruins the truth like stretching it.
20. Compassion is difficult to give away because it keeps coming back.
21. He who angers you controls you.
22. Worry is the darkroom in which negatives can develop.
23. Give Satan an inch & he’ll be a ruler.
24. Be ye fishers of men – you catch them & He’ll clean them.
25. God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.
26. Read the Bible – it will scare the h--- out of you.

Author Unknown

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Service Information

Saturday, September 1st, 2018 11:30am

Interment Information

Saturday, September 1st, 2018
Belmont Cemetery
Greenbriar Road
Statesville, NC 28625