THE DEDICATION of the Shiawassee County Veteran Affairs building in honor of Sgt. Clay Woodrow Reeves took place on Thursday, Nov. 9. The ceremony was attended by Shiawassee County Veteran Affairs Director Michael Reeve (no relation), as well as Bill and Brenda Domby of the Harold R. Cooley Marine Corps Detachment 841 of the U.S. Marine Corps League. The guests of honor for the dedication were Sgt. Reeves’ sons, Glen and Jeff, and his grandson, Zack.
Sgt. Reeves’ sons spoke during the dedication about what the naming of the veteran facility in their father’s name means to them.
“I think he would have played it down a little bit; he was kind of a humble guy,” shared Glen. “But I think he would have made a real big point of having mom [Faye] in the car and driving by a couple times a month just to see his name and she’d make fun of him for it. He probably would’ve thumped us all if he had known this was happening. It just wasn’t him to brag. He was very humble.”
Clay returned to Owosso in 1945 and he married his sweetheart, Evelyn “Faye” McCarthy, on June 8, 1946. They would spend the rest of their lives together, raising their children in their farmhouse in Oakley. Clay passed away on June 9, 2014. Faye went to be with her husband only months later on Sept. 23, 2014. The couple was married for 68 years.
Clay also started a business, Reeves Wheel Alignment, upon returning from battle, which he turned over to his sons, Glen and Jeff, in the 1990s before retiring in 2013.
Glen and Jeff shared some stories of their father during the dedication. One, in particular, showed the toughness and determination Clay was known for.
“He was in California and had formed up to 5th Division – he was part of the beginning of that – and prior to deploying he broke his left wrist playing volleyball,” explained Glen. They put his hand in a cast and shipped him over to Hawaii to get ready to go. He still had his hand in a cast, so they were going to leave him behind. When he had to get his x-ray prior to deploying, he cut his own cast off. He had broken his left wrist, but when he went for the x-ray, he stuck his right wrist in. After he came home, we found out his wrist was still broken. He fought for 30 days on Iwo Jima with a broken wrist. They re-cast it when he got home, but it never healed right.”
Shown during the dedication is (from left) Bill Domby from the Harold R. Cooley Marine Corps Detachment 841 of the U.S. Marine Corps League, Shiawassee County Veteran Affairs Director Michael Reeve, Jeff Reeves, Zack Reeves and Glen Reeves.
(Independent Photo/Graham Sturgeon)