Vivian Lavon Reeves, 86, of Louisburg KS, passed away Easter Sunday, April 1, 2018, surrounded by family and friends. She was born on Jan. 15, 1932, at her grandparent’s home in Corbin City, KS. She was the 10th child of Charley H. Root and Lula Myrtle (Ryan) Root. She lived many places but much of her life was lived in El Dorado Springs, which she called home.
A famous writer once said “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” Vivian Reeves made a great life by giving to others.
Vivian attended The Liston School and El Dorado High School. She played basketball and was proud to be a Bulldog. In October of 1946, at the age of 14, she went to live and work for Martha Chambers at the Chambers Emergency Hospital located on Hightower Street in El Dorado Springs. Part of her job there was to carry in six bushels of coal from outside to the basement both before and after school, along with wood for the kitchen cook stove. She was paid $3 per week for time before and after school and over the weekend. During the summer she made $10 a week. Vivian went to The School of Nursing in Denver CO, specializing in Pediatrics. She worked in many hospitals over the years, her favorite one being the old Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, where she worked in the Isolation and Burn Units.
Some of the perks of working in CMH were getting tickets for her children to go to the Circus, outings to the Zoo and meeting stars like Clint Walker and Jackie Gleason. She loved caring for the children, especially the babies and anyone in her life who needed a healing touch. When she left Mercy Hospital she was employed as the lead shipping and receiving clerk at Devine Lighting of Kansas City, MO. For a short time Vivian and Lucky lived in California where they were caretakers of an old church that had been turned into a museum. In later years she worked from home, doing all the Billing for The Mullendyke Sewer Department.
She first married Norman Morrison Shaw of Greenfield. To that union were born three children: Della, Christine and Charles. In 1961 she found herself a single mother of a two year-old and nine year-old. Times were hard, but she always made sure they had what they needed and a mother’s love. She taught her children to respect others and how to love everyone, not just the loveable ones.
On Sept. 9, 1969, she married the love of her life, Everett Harold Reeves, who had also been her high school sweetheart. This marriage was blessed with four children: Everett (Bud), Nick, Chris and Brenda, who she loved like her own.
Vivian devoted many hours to family and friends, always being ready with a helping hand; always having a positive attitude. She was very proud of her Indian heritage, loved being near family and friends, being outdoors in nice weather and liked old fashioned gospel music. She did not like the sound of the ocean. Vivian and Lucky loved going to Bluegrass shows, dancing, long drives across the country, and socializing over coffee at local cafes in El Dorado Springs.
Vivian was a remarkably thoughtful, hardworking, fun-loving person. She was a person of great love and compassion. She had a great sense of humor and enjoyed being ornery and making people laugh. Above all, Vivian believed in faith in God, family, compassion, hard work, and the underdog.
She always said, “Crying is good for you, the more you cry the less you pee,” “You get out of life what you put into it,” and “Life is short, so cherish every moment!”
She also wanted all to know she was not afraid of dying and said, “I will be going home to be in a better place when my Lord calls me home.” She also wanted you to know, “Grieve only for a short time . . . live your life and love your family… be happy and move on.”
Vivian Reeves, thank you for being part of our lives. We are all going to miss you.
Preceding Vivian in death were her husband, Everett Harold Reeves Sr.; a daughter, Christine Sue Shaw; her parents, Lula (Ryan) and Charley H. Root; nine brothers and sisters: Myrtle Emma Root, Charles Marvin Root, Edith Christine Root, Woodrow Leroy Root, Paul Freeman Root, Donald Raymond Root, Rennie Merile Root, Edna May Root and Floyd H. Root; granddaughter, Robin Reeves; and great-great-grandson, Ryker Gurley.
Survivors include her six children: Della Bailey and husband, Steve, of Cleveland, MO; Everett Harold Reeves Jr. and wife, Jennifer, of El Dorado Springs; Nickie Gene Reeves of Lone Jack, MO; Christine Fisher and husband, Rusty, of Archie; Brenda Renshaw of Lone Jack; and Charles M. Shaw of Coarsegold, CA; 18 grandchildren; 43 great-grandchildren; five great-great-grandchildren; her dear friends, Vera and Edward Montgomery, of Lone Jack; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Services will begin at 10 a.m Friday, April 7, in Bland-Hackleman Funeral Home with Rev. Brent Bland officiating. There will be a visitation from 6 to 7 p.m.Thursday evening, April 6, in Bland-Hackleman Funeral Home. Interment will follow in the El Dorado Springs City Cemetery under the direction of Bland-Hackleman Funeral Home.
Pallbearers will be Danny Reeves, Jamie May, Everett Reeves, Steven Bailey, Rob Irvin and Dan Higginbottom. Honorary pallbearers will be Edward Montgomery and Rob Montgomery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Diabetes Association or Serenity Hospice and left at the funeral home.
Online condolences may be left at www.blandhackleman.com.