Ermal Eugene Reeve: 1922-2013 |

Ermal Eugene Reeve: 1922-2013

Ermal Eugene Reeve, 91, flew his final flight with Jesus as pilot on Oct. 28, 2013 from his daughter’s home in Bella Vista, Ark.

Ermal Reeve, oldest child of Leonard and Lydia (Kenagy) Reeve, was born in a house in Page County, Iowa on April 17, 1922.

At the age of 5 the family moved to western Nebraska, he and his dad traveled with the livestock on the railroad and the rest of the family traveled by car. They lived in different farms in the area near Crawford and Marsland, the main crop they raised was potatoes.

Ermal graduated from high school in Crawford with his sister Doris. From there he went to Spearfish, S.D., for Air Force flight school. He was stationed in Iowa flying planes. It was there that he contacted rheumatic fever and was sent to a Florida hospital. After being released from the hospital, he stayed in Florida and drove fuel trucks for the Air Force. This is where he met his bride, Barbara Bateson, and upon his discharge from the Air Force in 1946, they got married. They started out their life together in western Nebraska working on various ranches. They adopted a baby girl, Virginia. He obtained his pilots license and flew his own planes for many years.

In 1960 he moved his family to Opal, S.D., to start a ranch with his parents; later his brother, Lisle, and his family joined them and they formed Reeve Land & Cattle.

Ermal was a member of Opal Community Church, Opal Fire Department, Farm Bureau, SD Pilots Association, on the township school board, and a ham radio operator. He was a great welder and did many projects for the ranch, some are still in use.

Ermal is survived by daughter: Virginia (Larry) Schoenwald, Bella Vista, Ark.; grandson, Adam, Bentonville, Ark.; two granddaughters: Amber (Schoenwald) Hoskins, Pineville, Mo., and Jenna Marie Schoenwald, Fayetteville, Ark.; three great-grandsons, two great-granddaughters; two brothers, Lisle Reeve, Opal, S.D.; Larry Reeve, New Plymouth, Idaho; three sisters, Lucille Andrews, Ogallala, Neb., Lois Gebhart, Florence, Colo., Merle (Beebe) Schmelzel, New Plymouth, Idaho; and many nieces and nephews.

Preceded in death by parents: Lydia and Leonard Reeve, his wife of 67 years, Barbara, (in August 2013); sister, Doris; and an infant brother.

Memorial services will be held June 14, 2014 at Opal Community Church for both Ermal and Barbara.

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