Howard Reeves remembered for helping others as cop, coach

Wednesday, June 10, 2009 10:10 AM
Last updated 10:14 AM
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It wasn’t just Howard Reeves’ walking a police beat that kept Augusta a safer place. His involvement in the lives of hundreds of teenagers through his efforts as a baseball, football and basketball coach made a huge impact.

Reeves  File/Staff

“He saved many a teenager from going to jail,” said Freddie Lott, chief of the Augusta Police Department from 1986 to 1991. The police department consolidated with the Richmond County Sheriff’s Department in the mid-1990s.

Mr. Reeves, also known as Sarge, died Monday at his residence after an extended illness.

Mr. Lott started on the police force in 1964 when there was no specialized training. He remembers his first night on the job.

“They put me on my first night to walk with Howard,” he said.

Mr. Reeves had already been on the force for six years. They covered Reynolds, Broad, Greene and Ellis streets of downtown Augusta from Fifth to 13th Streets, checking doors and watching people.

Over the years, their paths would cross numerous times. Mr. Reeves spent 38 years on the police force. When Mr. Lott served as police chief, Mr. Reeves worked in community relations, spending time speaking to civic, school and church groups.

“He was real nice. The community of Augusta liked him; young children liked him,” he said.

And he loved his community. He spent more than 25 years coaching for the Richmond County Recreation Department.

Gary Kendrick was on several teams during the early and mid-1970s. When he was in college, he assisted Mr. Reeves. What impressed Mr. Kendrick most was the concern Mr. Reeves showed for his players off the field.

“The interest he took in each one of us individually. I wasn’t the only one. There were a lot of kids who weren’t as advantaged as I was. They came from low-income homes with no father figure. He treated them like one of his own,” Mr. Kendrick said. “He made a lot of us better people.”

Mr. Kendrick’s parents worked during the day when practices were held. He said Mr. Reeves would pick up him and other youngsters for practice and take them home later.

“After games, he’d take the whole team to Dairy Queen behind Daniel Village for a hamburger. He’d get Six Flags and Braves tickets. He was a lot of fun to be with,” Mr. Kendrick said. “He was a big kid. We had a blast.”

Funeral services for Mr. Reeves will be at 1 p.m. Thursday at Grace Fellowship of Augusta, 1735 Sibley Rd.

Survivors include his wife, Evelyn; a daughter, Patti Barnard and her husband, Dan, Augusta; a son, Bill, who is a captain with the Richmond County Sheriff’s Department, and his wife, Lara; three sisters, Inez Edwards, Hephzibah., Jenelle Black, Bluffton, S.C., and Dale Carver, Charlotte, N.C; and five grandchildren, Joseph Daniel Barnard III, Harrison Reeves Barnard, Lynlee Marie Barnard, William Remmington Reeves and Emory Victoria Reeves.

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tmoh001 06/10/09 - 10:23 am
I coached several years

I coached several years against Howard and served with him several times on All Star coaching staffs. I found Howard to be a gracious and caring person. I will forever remember his kindness and good humor. The Augusta area has lost a true advocate for children. He will be missed.

Edward1968 06/10/09 - 10:29 am
We need more like him in this

We need more like him in this area.

shivas 06/10/09 - 11:53 am
That's right Gary Kendrick,

That's right Gary Kendrick, we shared many a Brazier Burger at the Dairy Queen after games. Mr. Reeves also worked the rasslin' matches at the Bell Auditorium on Monday Nights, and would take some of us there for free. He was actually a very special friend to my family. I will always remember his humor. I remember him driving us to practice one day and laughing out loud as we listened to the "my ding-a-ling" song on the radio. What a guy!

UrbanMeyerHater 06/10/09 - 05:33 pm
He was one of a kind! Great

He was one of a kind! Great coach.

Mudfish 06/10/09 - 06:59 pm
Before Sarge retired, he

Before Sarge retired, he would work Sunday specials for First Presbyterian Church. After he retired, he took on the job as head of security there. I remember one night he was working the crossing in front of the church. He stopped traffic for members to walk across. He would always make sure that the traffic stopped before waving the people across. He was standing in the middle of the street when our oldest member came by almost hitting him. Sarge just shook his head and tipped his hat laughing the whole time. Sarge was not just a policeman or law enforcement officer, he was a true peace officer. He was loved by many and will be missed by even more. We need more peace officers like him, Freddie Lot, John Francisco, Hank Wall and Thad Calhoun.

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