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Lt. governor’s grandmother marks 100th birthday

On Sept. 5, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves’ grandmother will become a centenarian.

But if all goes as planned, Ruth Daniel Reeves of Bogue Chitto will celebrate it two days earlier, with a party hosted by her children.

The century celebration is set for Sept. 3 at Montgomery Baptist Church’s fellowship hall in Summit.

Ruth Daniel was born to Webster and Eula Daniel in 1917 in Attala County and moved with her parents to McComb the next year. She graduated from McComb City Schools.

When she was 20 years old, she married Cecil P. Reeves, from the little Lincoln County town of Bogue Chitto. They were married 68 years, until his death in 1986.

Lt. Gov. Reeves said, “My dad had five brothers and five sisters, so there were 11 of them. She’s a great person that raised 11 children, all of whom are high school graduates of Mississippi public schools. They all excelled — some in sports, some in academics, and several are accomplished musicians.”

Those 11 children supplied her with 22 grandchildren, 33 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. Her daughter Linda Reeves Gaul and two of her sons — Hollis “‘Danny’” and Roger Dale — died in the last 10 years.

After her husband’s death, she continued with her church activities at Montgomery Baptist — where the lieutenant governor says she has been active for most of the last 79 years — and at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church in Bogue Chitto, where she sang for many years in the Lincoln Chorale. She also traveled on many church trips, tours with Climate Masters and her daughter’s Pace Setters travel group, in Hampton, Virginia.

But one of her favorite activities has always been volunteering her time to help others.

“She has volunteered as a Pink Lady at the hospital in McComb,” her famous grandson said. In fact, she has logged over 1,600 hours with the group at Southwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center.

“It’s incredible,” he said, speaking of her long life. “I’ve got tons of memories of spending days and nights at my grandmother’s house there in Bogue Chitto. My family gets together regularly. For this 100th birthday, she actually has grandchildren coming from California, Massachusetts and all points in between.”

Reeves’ best memories at his grandmother’s house involved playing football or “something outside” with his cousins.

His grandmother was a role model for him.

“She volunteered in the community, too — and maybe this is where I received part of my love for public service — she was very active working the polls,” he said.

Since 2006, she has resided on the family farm on Wallace Drive with her daughter Cecile and son-in-law Raymond McCaffrey.

Friends and relatives are invited to join in this celebration of her long life.

“I’m certainly looking forward to it,” Reeves said.