Reba Mae Hayes

Graveside funeral services for Reba Mae Hayes, 86, of Athens, Texas, will be held at Shiloh I Cemetery, in Midlothian, Texas on Tuesday, May 18.  Services are under the direction of Midlothian Funeral Home of Midlothian, Texas, Pastor Billy Smith officiating.  Mrs. Hayes went to be with her Lord and Savior on Monday, May 10, 2021.  Reba Hayes was born on September 30, 1934, in Lufkin, Texas, daughter of William Odis and Nancy Sowell Dunn.  She married the love of her life, Buford Ray Hayes, in 1954 in Cedar Hill, Texas, and spent the next 62 years of her life happy to be by his side and share their life together. 

She loved to garden, and would spend hours in the yard doing so.  The abundant, wonderful   vegetables she produced were out of this world and resulted in many long afternoon hours of canning.   Mom especially loved fried okra, and knew how to make it right … the Texas Way!  She was also “famous”, from Lufkin to Lancaster to Athens, for her pear preserves and pear cake, both of which never lasted more than an afternoon in the house.  No one ever left the table hungry!

She always had fresh cut flowers on the table, especially roses (her favorite).  Reba loved holidays…and no matter what the holiday she was always happiest decorating for them, setting the most amazing tables with her best dishes and serving up some favorite recipes. 

She was also an avid shopper and loved to dress in bright colors, except yellow, which she would always adamantly declare didn’t look good on her!  She was a Girl Scout Leader for many years, taking a dozen plus girls on camping trips all across Texas.  Reba could spot a snake anywhere, and in any terrain before anyone else had a clue.  Consequently, she always insisted   being out front of a hike as the “trail leader”, to ensure everyone’s safety!

There wasn’t a craft project she hadn’t tried and spent hours making pottery, sewing clothes and especially making unbelievable hand stitched quilts, which many family members and relatives use to this day to keep warm and brighten their bedrooms. 

She loved her husband, her children, her grandchildren, and her great-grandchildren. 

These are only a few things that made up my Mom, things that she loved.  Was she perfect, no.  Was she my Mom, yes, and that made her perfect to me, and to all the world. She was preceded in death by her parents and Buford, her husband of 62 years.  She is survived by her son, Rick Hayes and his wife Sharon of Haltom City, Texas, her daughter, Deborah Bertelsman of Simpsonville, South Carolina, grandchildren Valerie, Eric, Matthew, and Joshua, and four great-grandchildren.

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