Osborne E. Reaves, 87
Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Osborne Eugene Reaves was a devoted husband, father, and soldier. He started from meager beginnings in South Orange, New Jersey, raised by his aunt and uncle, the late Annie and Thomas Holcomb. He attended the public school system in South Orange and Maplewood. A good student, he graduated from Columbia High School in 1946. Upon graduation, his new pastor, Reverend Leon Sullivan, suggested that he attend West Virginia State College.
Although he didn’t have any assets, he accepted the offer, proceeded by train to “State,” met Dr. P.A. Williams, and began his education in January 1947. While at “State” he joined the Reserve Officers Training Program (ROTC) and was initiated into TAU Chapter, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity in 1948. He later became a life member of “Kappa.” Upon graduation in 1950, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Field Artillery Corp and served as a Forward Observer in the Korean War. He later transitioned into the Air Defense Artillery Corp.
Over more than twenty years of military service, his varied assignments included tours in Germany, two additional tours in Korea, a tour at Florida A&M University (as an ROTC tactics instructor), and command and staff positions in Nike Ajax, Hercules, and Hawk units. His awards included receiving the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, and the Army Commendation Medal.
Upon his retirement from the military, LTC Reaves worked for New York State in the Hudson Valley Opportunities Industrialization Center and the Office of Mental Health at the Hudson River Psychiatric Center, and served as President and Board Member of the Board of Directors of the hospital’s credit union. LTC Reaves retired from New York State in 1986 and moved to Newport News, Virginia in 1988. Even in retirement, he stayed busy and volunteered for almost fifteen years in the library of the Achievable Dream Elementary School (formerly Dunbar Erwin Elementary School).
He was married to the former Jacqueline Edwina Duconge in 1952. Ozzie and Jackie met at Fort Dix, New Jersey, where her father, a career Army officer, was also stationed. She was killed in a tragic automobile accident in 1974. LTC Reaves remained a widower until his death. He will be buried with his one love at Arlington National Cemetery. The couple is survived by their four children, Osborne Michael Reaves, Karen Marie Elizabeth Reaves Wright, Stephen Thomas Reaves, and Gregory Eugene Reaves. Ozzie was the proud grandparent of eleven grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.
He is pre-deceased by his parents, Ethel Reaves Wilson and Eugene Reaves, and by his two sisters, Yolanda Reaves Baskerville and Diane Wilson Adams. His step-sister, Barbara Chase still resides in New Jersey.
The family will receive friends Thursday, March 2, 2017 from 6-9PM at Miller Funeral Home, 3200 Golansky Blvd., Woodbridge, VA 22192. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Friday, March 3, 2017 at 10:30AM at Holy Family Catholic Church, 14160 Ferndale Rd, Dale City, VA 22193. Interment will be held at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery.