The family of Curtis Paul Reaves extends our heartfelt
thanks and appreciation to all who reached out to us
during this difficult time. We are grateful for all
expressions of sympathy, kindness, compassion,
encouraging words, love and support.
“Weeping may endure for a night but joy cometh in the morning”
Curtis Paul (Bearcat) Reaves made his advent into this world on February 5, 1959, in Milledgeville Georgia. He was born to the parents of the late Ollie Reaves Roberson and the late Lonnie Roberson. He is preceded in death by his brother Exturs Reaves, and a sister, Marie Reaves-Foster.
Paul joined the Bold Spring Baptist Church in Sandersville, Ga at an early age and was active in the church and the upkeep of it. Paul continued his church services by making those long, dirt-road walks to Sunday School at Second Darien Baptist Church and after moving out of the Linton Community he attended Sunday School at Second Beulah Baptist Church, a much closer walk from his home!
In his formative years he was destined to become a leader. Noticing him at play with his siblings and nephews, there was no mistaking the king of the pack. Yes, a swift defender of self, but an even greater protector of them. His creative and imaginative character traits came to life in the form of music as he learned the guitar and “made beats” using a cardboard box and two sticks from the woodpile as he sat singing, “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay” and other tunes. As he grew older Paul played the guitar, and sang with many, many gospel groups and various band. He loved hymns, and songs such as “Singing in the Heavenly Choir”, “Speak Lord, God is Trying to Tell Me Something”, and “Afterwhile”. Paul also enjoyed Scripture Reading, especially the 23rd Psalm. We simply called him Paul!
As he entered Southwest Elementary School and subsequently Hancock Central High, he maintained those spirited and shielding qualities for his family and classmates. This inevitably spilled over to the Mighty Bulldogs’ football field where he proved to his teammates over and over again that he had their backs. Strong, vibrant, independent, and courageous was he, and They affectionately called him “BearCat”!
After graduation he advanced his inherent desire to guard and support by becoming a member of the United States Navy. During his 27-year tenure he proved himself to be a stellar and loyal sailor as he ascended the ranks; and upon his retirement, had earned the rights to be respectfully called Chief.
His aspirations and ambitions to learn and excel did not stop there. His interest in social behaviors and awareness led to his attendance of Georgia Military College and Georgia College at Milledgeville acquiring degrees in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Paul enjoyed cooking, reading, fishing, singing, and his favorite past time of traveling.
Believe it or not, Paul was also a great Marksmen; something he learned early in life from his Mother; he was a lover of sports, a skilled fisherman, and a great salesman of various goods (Fish Man). He met many strangers that he treated as family providing advice, assistance, delicious meals, music and those fun-filled (sometimes, dreaded) debate hours. Paul truly enjoyed helping others. He melded his love for people and passion for music into a rewarding hobby benefitting family and the community, often playing at the First Friday events, a social gathering bringing together the communities of Hancock County to downtown Sparta. He loaded his equipment on numerous occasions and wowed the crowds as they jovially called him DeeJay!
Throughout the many facets of his life he often assumed a leadership role, was referred to by various names and was bestowed numerous titles; however, he never forgot and never ceased to acknowledge The Ultimate Leader, The Supreme Chief, The Divine Director, The Shield and Protector as his single Source of being-- and Curtis Paul Reaves gladly answered to Almighty God!
Paul met and married Ms. Ethel McKinley and this union was blessed with five children.
Paul leaves a legacy of love to his wife Ethel Reaves, two sons; Jermaine (Shonda) Sanford, Casino (Barbara) Todd, two daughters Charmaine Sanford, Sonia Fizer. Three grandchildren that he raised as his own Christopher Todd, Cayce Todd, Alexis Todd. Heaven Sanford, Bailey Sanford, Bryson Sanford, Alexis Sanford, Jamaal Sanford, Savannah Sanford, Ashley Sanford, and Zavante Fizer, brought their grandfather (Papa) all the sunshine and love that any grandparent would need.
His brothers: Reverend Willie C. (Ruthie) Swint, Sr., Deacon Kenneth (Willie Mae) Reaves Sr., Jessie (Mattie) Reaves Sr., Johnny Reaves, Cecil (Lisa) Reaves, Lester B. Warren, and Jessie Roberson. His sisters: Melvyn A. Brown, Annie Lois (John) Blakely, Lannie Lewis, Susie R. (Rev. Melvin) Gunn, Agnes (Kenneth) Washington, Tara R. Worthen, Doris (Billy) Justice, Mary Webb, and Elizabeth M. Roberson. Mother-in-law, Bertha Harvey, Sister-in-law, Annie Reaves. His God children: Michelle, Chandra, Shantina, William, Melvin II., Phyllis, and Leo Jr.
Paul had a special brother and sister caregiver, confidant/friend in Mr. Dexter (Black) Calhoun and Mrs. Vernita R. Thomas who rendered services unto him out of love and care. Paul have numerous of nieces and nephews, some of whom he was raised up with like sisters and brothers. He stated that he loved them all so dearly that If he called the list, he would probably miss a few. ‘Please know that I loved all of you the same.’ Paul particularly enjoyed and bonded with a much younger generation of family members, his third and fourth generation of nieces and nephews: Mykeria, Jace, Riley, Zae, Jay, Armani, Polo, Lovell, Stephon, and Chazz.
Special cousins/friends: Lucious Ingram, Larry Hall, Terry Moore, Danny Lee Durden,
McIver LaCrue, Jimmie Ellison, and many more.
Paul left these words with us, “No matter what you are going through you are never alone on this Christian Journey. In this walk of life, I have done and experienced many things, but I kept my connection with the Lord, and I never gave up on him, because he will deliver. See you on the other side.”
A few months after graduating high school, Curtis joined the Navy, where he faithfully served his nation throughout an exemplary 27-year, rising to the rank of Chief Petty Officer. Curtis always volunteered for and was assigned the toughest jobs, excelling in all combat/non-combat missions and assignments, and earning a multitude of awards, commendations, qualifications, and certifications along the way.
His consistent stellar performance earned him two (2) Navy/Marine Corp Achievement Medals and five (5) Good Conduct Awards. Curtis/Paul served in combat during Desert Shield/Desert Storm where he was awarded three (3) Southwest Asia Service Medals and the Kuwait Liberation Medal. His list of awards also includes three (3) Navy Expedition Service Medals, five (5) Navy Unit Commendation Awards, the National Defense Service Medal, Sea Service Ribbon with eight (8) tours and the Battle “E” Efficiency Ribbon. He also earned the Combat Action Ribbon for combat operations at sea; some which included leading boarding parties to inspect suspicious vessels for nefarious activity. His Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist (ESWS) pin, certified him as a Surface Warfare warrior.
Curtis’ expertise and technical acumen earned him the Master Training Specialist Insignia; indicative of the subject matter expert designated to train the trainer. He continued to master the use of various systems in his Gunner’s Mate position. He earned medals for his expert marksmanship with the M14 rifle and pistol and qualified to operate the 54 Caliber Machine Gun. Chief Reaves capped his career with becoming a Vertical Launch Missile System Technician, which at the time was a new weapon system for seaborne anti-air defense and strike operations. As a Recruit Boot Camp Company Commander (Drill Instructor), Curtis imparted the fundamentals needed for sailors to succeed in the Navy but also in life. He took young, “diamonds in the rough” civilians and carved them into jewels of the sea sailors.
‘Fair winds and following Seas’
Services entrusted to Dawson’s Mortuary ~98 Hopgood St. Warrenton, GA.