Jerlean Clarese Reeves Gardner
Jerlean Clarese Reeves Gardner, affectionately known as ‘Jerrie’, ‘Aunt Jerrie’, ‘Auntie Jerl’, was born on November 28, 1931 to the union of Frank Reeves, Sr. and Pauline Kimbrough Reeves in Dallas, Texas.
Jerrie’s education began at Phyllis Wheatley Elementary School. She attended and graduated from Lincoln High School. Subsequently, she furthered her higher learning at Wiley College. She graduated from a Data Processing Training School, while also mastering and completing lessons on the Hammond Organ.
Jerrie was a very outspoken person. She worked as the Personnel Secretary in Personnel at Sears Roebuck Company, where she trained and told her boss what to do! Jerrie married the love of her life, the late Clifford Gardner, Jr. They both served together on their Neighborhood Board Association, and the Dallas Black Arts Theatre. Additionally, Jerrie and Cliff also served on the same Bowling League. Jerrie also appeared on the one-time popular TV Show, “Bowling for Dollars.” Although she did not get a strike the first time, she did pick up her spare and received a comparable prize. Further, she was a member of the Lincoln High School Alumni.
Jerrie absolutely loved her nieces and nephews, where on numerous occasions they ALL went ice skating, played miniature golf, shopped, and rode bikes together! She was the guru of snapping pictures of ALL the various family outings and activities. She loved the Dallas Summer Musicals and the Dinner Playhouses, where generally and most of the time, Paulette and Janette would accompany her. Jerrie enjoyed traveling in her leisure time, as well.
Although Jerrie was a member of St. Paul AME Church from a child, she was the musician for several different church denominations and choirs. At St. Paul, she was a member of the Senior Choir, the Mass Choir, and the famous St. Paul’s Jubilee Singers. The Jubilee Singers spent many hours perfecting their harmony. These singers traveled the city raising money for the church and putting on several concerts doing their tenure. In addition to Jerrie, the singers included Doris Bluitt, Musician, Jewel Meshack, Claudia Slesthenger, Chastene Reed, Myrtle B. Salone, and Dorothy Carter. Jerrie attended church and Bible Study regularly until her health began to fail.
Genesis 33:12 states “And he said, let us take our journey, and let us go, and I will go before thee.” The Christian life is often compared to a journey. Jerrie began her journey by taking Christ as her Lord and Savior as her traveling companion through life at an early age.
On Saturday, April 10, 2021, her life’s journey ended, and she entered eternal rest. She was preceded in death by her Parents, Frank and Pauline Reeves, Sr., Brothers, Milton Thomas Reeves, and Frank Reeves, Jr. Sisters, Constance Juanita Reeves Davis, and Vernita Reeves Hawthorne.
Jerrie’s melodious voice and public opinions will be missed by all who knew her. Her precious memories will be remembered and cherished by Nephew, Ronny E. Reeves, Sr. (Judy); Niece, Paulette Hawthorne Allen (Rev. George); Niece, Janette Reeves Rogers; Nephews, Kenneth C. Davis, Nathaniel E. Hawthorne (Vanetta), Carl D. Reeves, and Ricky J. Reeves; Goddaughters, Minister Miesha Medford (Carl), and Karen Justice (Jason), and a host of great-nieces, nephews, cousins, family and friends; including Loretta Crudupt, Lennie ‘Jean’ Foster, and Personal Caregiver, Ginger D’Agata.
Her legacy is assured through the lives of her nieces and nephews!
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