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Gray Brown-Service Mortuary

1329 Wilmer Ave, Anniston, AL

OBITUARY

Sandra Lanell (Hammett) Reaves

August 11, 1947March 15, 2020
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Sandra Lanell Hammett Reaves, 72, went home to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on March, 15, 2020. Her family will receive friends and family on March 17, 2020 at Gray Brown Funeral Home from 2 pm to 3 pm with a service following at 3 pm at Gray Brown Funeral Home officiated by Rev. Randy Huddleston and Rev. B.J. Price. Burial will be at Eulaton First Baptist Church.

Sandra was preceded in death by her parents, Hershel Hammett and Nellie Dean Dobbins Hammett and her brother-in-law, Tracy Hall.

She is survived by her husband of 49 years, Donald C. Reaves; one son, James Reaves, one daughter, Elaine Reaves Price, son-in-law, B.J. Price, her siblings: Garry Hammett (Connie), Gaylon Hammett (Carol), Beverly Hammett Hall, and Vallie Denise Hammett Martin (Kenneth), four grandsons: Joel Lanier Price, Caleb Reaves Price, David Andrew Price and Malcolm Bennett Reaves. Many cousins, nieces, nephews, great-nieces and nephews.

Sandra or “Mrs. Reaves” as she was known to thousands of children, was born on August 11, 1947 in Mt Hebron, AL. Born to a farming family and the oldest of five children, Sandra had an excellent work ethic and set an example for her siblings. Many times she told of feeding chickens, picking cotton, and doing anything and everything around the farm. Sandra even remembered the time long past where children were out of school for “cotton picking”. She graduated from Douglas High School in 1965. Being a woman before her time, Sandra was the first woman in her family to go to college. She rode a bus to Gadsden State Community College and was in their first graduating class in 1967. She then went to Jacksonville State University to finish her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. The first weekend she did not go home to Mt. Hebron, she met her future husband, Donald C. Reaves. The couple went on their first date to the newly opened Six Flags on April 13, 1969. After finishing college and teaching one year at Douglas Elementary School, they were married in her parents’ home on June 12, 1970. Sandra made her home in the Eulaton area of Anniston for the rest of her life. Sandra began teaching at Mechanicsville Elementary. Children were Mrs. Reaves' passion. This passion included children of every race and ethnicity. In the midst of desegregation, Mrs. Reaves boldly took a position at Thankful Elementary School where she worked with African-American teachers and administrators. Mrs. Reaves would look back on this time fondly and say her administrator, Mr. Boyd was one of the best principals she ever had.

In 1974, Sandra and Don welcomed their first child James. In 1977, a baby girl named Elaine completed their family. Sandra took nine years off from teaching to stay home with her children. Her father often joked saying she really never took any time off though - she just taught her own children! Mrs. Reaves, now “Mama” put alphabet trains up around the kitchen where her children learned to read and write before they ever went to actual school.

Mrs. Reaves did return to teaching professionally in Calhoun County. Over the course of the next 20 years, she taught at Ohatchee Elementary, Alexandria Elementary, and finally home to Wellborn Elementary. Mrs. Reaves taught elementary school for 27 year before retiring in 2004. Mrs. Reaves did not only teach children how to read and write. She also taught children about her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Mrs. Reaves was a member of Eulaton Baptist Church where she taught Mission Friends for many years. There she taught children the importance of knowing Christ and sharing His love and grace with others. Many children she taught have gone on to be ministers and missionaries themselves.

Mrs. Reaves was known by many names: Sandra to her family, mom and mama to her children, Mrs. Reaves to her school children, and Mimi to her four grandsons. Of all her names, it is safe to say Mimi was her favorite. She became “Mimi” in 2004 and has been known by that name ever since by her grandsons and even her grandsons cousins! Children were drawn to her loving heart and sweet spirit. Even to her last days, people gravitated to her contagious laugh and loving smile. Even when her mind was taken by Alzheimer’s, her spirit continued to shine through.

Pallbearers will be Joel Price, Caleb Price, Myles Chamblee, Joshua Tucker, Justin Hall. Honarary pallbearer: David Price

The family would like to thank all those who were the hands and feet of Jesus these last several years: her precious home caregivers, Rachel Dulaney and Geraldine Clark, all the nurses and physicians at the UAB Memory Center, especially Denise Ledlow, RN, the staff at Green Oaks Assisted Living, Dr. Brad McAnalley, MD, Dr. Candice Johnson & Dr. Laura Mahan, Olivia Frazier, Robbie Galloway, and the staff at Johnson & Mahan Dentistry, the nurses and staff at Helen Keller Palliative Care Unit - especially Sheila and Kayla. Thank you to the many others who held our family up in prayer.

Services

  • Visitation Tuesday, March 17, 2020
  • Funeral Service Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Memories

Sandra Lanell (Hammett) Reaves

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Donna Tidwell

March 17, 2020

I met Sandra when she moved to Green Oaks. I volunteer there and saw her love shining through in a beautiful way. The words to describe her were very evident even with Alzheimer's effecting her life. She will be greatly missed by me. Hopefully she will befriend my mom in heaven. Mom had Alzheimer's as well and your mother reminded me of her. May God bring you peace and comfort.

Angela Whitt

March 17, 2020

I am so sorry to hear of Sandra’s passing. She was a wonderful lady. I know she was welcomed in Heaven by her sweet parents and my sweet brother, her brother-in-law, Tracy Hall. God bless all her family with His Peace and Comfort.

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