James Thomas “Sonny” Reeves, Jr., age 82, of Harriman, Tenn., passed away on Sunday, September 25, 2022, at Oakmont at Gordon Park in Bristol, Va.
He was born August 20, 1940, to the late James Thomas “Bud” Reeves, Sr. and Mary Alma Worthington Reeves. He was raised by his grandparents, Claude Thomas Reeves and Bleavy Ashburn Reeves, on the Homestead of Cumberland County alongside his aunts and uncles. The family eventually relocated to Harriman, where Sonny excelled in sports. He lettered in football and basketball at South Harriman High School where he graduated in 1959. Sonny received a B.S. in Physical Education in 1965 on an athletic scholarship to Carson-Newman University, where he played quarterback for the Golden Eagles. He completed his M.A. in Health and Physical Education at Tennessee Technological University in 1970.
Sonny was employed by the Harriman City School System, first serving as a truancy officer and Biology teacher. He eventually became principal of Harriman Middle School (formerly Cumberland Middle School). Of all the various positions he filled during his 37-year tenure with the school system, the most important title he attained, according to Sonny, was that of “coach”. He was a Christian and longtime member of Trenton Street Baptist Church. Sonny harbored an abounding love for underprivileged children, animals, and athletics of any variety.
Additionally, he was preceded in death by his wife of 27 years, Judy Ann Newman Reeves; three paternal aunts and an uncle who he considered his siblings: Cecil Hargis and husband, Kermit; Nell Sweeney and husband, John; Geneva Mitchell and husband, Leon “Bus”; and Ralph Reeves, Sr. and wife, Wanda; and an additional maternal aunt, Calla Worthington Stone.
He is survived by his daughter, Amanda Reeves Perry and husband, Matthew, of Abingdon, Va.; stepmother, Velma Reeves, of Oak Ridge, Tenn.; brother-in-law, Richard Newman of Harriman, Tenn.; several cousins; and a host of friends.
A funeral ceremony will be held on Thursday, September 29, 2022, at 7:00 p.m. in Trenton Street Baptist Church with Ted Taylor officiating. A committal service will be held on Friday, September 30, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. in Roane Memorial Gardens. Visitation will be held on Thursday from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the church.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to: Trenton Street Baptist Church, 519 Trenton St., Harriman, TN 37748; the Roane County Animal Shelter, 296 Manufacturers Rd., Rockwood, TN 37854; or the United Way of Roane County, P.O. Box 317, Harriman, TN 37748.
Kyker Funeral Home of Harriman is serving the Reeves Family. www.kykerfuneralhomes.com
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