The Doyline community is honoring a councilman and veteran who passed away last week.
The phrase 'community legend' doesn't do justice do the impact that 94-year-old Billy Reeves had in and around the village of Doyline in southwestern Webster Parish.
The mayor of Doyline, Gary Carter, lowered the flag to half-staff Monday afternoon, October 17, in honor of four-term councilman Billy Reeves who passed away Friday. Hours later, friends and loved ones began arriving for his visitation service nearby in Minden.
Rev. Melvin Fletcher, who will officiate Reeves' funeral on Tuesday said, "He knew everyone, you know. Being 94-years-old, he'd been around awhile."
Reeves wore so many hats in life from war veteran and purple heart recipient, to reserve deputy, police chief, national guardsman, and he was a member of every civic group you can think of; he was even the water board president.
He often repeated the same phrase. Mayor Carter recited, "For God and country. And he lived it and breathed it."
There are so many different stories about Billy Reeves, almost as many as the number of people who remember them. One involves a former mayor of the village of Doyline, who said in his 11 years in office he only remembers two times ever that Billy was not at a meeting. Those were for family reunions. Otherwise, he was never late.
But it's not Reeves' punctuality he'll be most remembered for; instead, it was his interest in others. "He loved people, just loved people," recalled Mayor Carter.
Carter said they loved to poke fun at one another. "One of his phrases that he loved to tell me was he hasn't whooped a 50-year-old today but the day wasn't over, so. (laugh)"
Reeves' good friend, State Senator Ryan Gatti, posted a clip on Facebook, filmed in September when Reeves endorsed a veteran running for office. They let the cameras roll and Billy was asked his secret to long life. He couldn't help but mention the mayor. "Being around Gary Carter (laugh). No, clean living."