At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
A free-spirited man who loved an adventure, Carl Reeves had a zest for life that was contagious to all who were near. He could be stubborn at times, but he was also game to try anything at least once, and his love for the outdoors was easy to see. Carl was deeply devoted to his family, and he was the sort of person who would do whatever he could for his family and friends. Life was not always easy for him, but he faced whatever came his way head on. Although he will be deeply missed, he leaves behind a priceless collection of memories that his loved ones will forever hold near and dear to their hearts.
It seems only fitting that Carl’s journey began during a time that was as colorful as he was. It was the decade that we commonly recall as the Nifty Fifties, and America was an exciting place to be. Televisions were becoming part of our homes, Elvis Presley took the music world by storm, and civil rights came to the forefront when Rosa Parks refused to give of her seat on an Alabama bus. Amidst this exciting time was a time of great anticipation in the lives of RC and Adelle (Speakman) Reeves as they were eagerly awaiting the birth of their new baby as April dawned in Kalamazoo, Michigan, in 1956. The big day finally arrived on April 7th when the baby boy they named Carl drew his first breath. Sadly, his father died when Carl was just a young boy, but his mother later remarried a man named Robert Babcock who became his father figure.
In many ways Carl was a young boy of his generation. He was raised in the small family home in the Oakwood neighborhood alongside his brothers, Randy, Dan, and Bob. All the boys shared a bedroom, which means that there was never a dull day in their home. Carl played baseball at Oakwood Little League and became intrigued with motorcycles. Interestingly, these were two things that he enjoyed his entire life. As a student Carl attended local schools.
After graduating from Loy Norrix High School in 1974, Carl was ready for all that life had in store. He joined the Army, making a three year commitment. While in the military Carl worked as an MP, and he was forever proud of his time in the military for the rest of his life. With his military duties fulfilled, he returned to Michigan and attended Kalamazoo Valley Community College and later attended Western Michigan University. Carl moved to California for a time where he worked for the United States Marshall’s Office on Moffatt Air Force Base, but he eventually wanted to be near his family and returned to Michigan. He was married for a brief time and had no kids, but he was an amazing uncle who had a good relationship with his nephews and niece throughout his life.
In 1994, Carl became interested in driving truck. His younger brother, Randy, stepped in to teach him how to drive, and Carl loved the freedom that this career provided. For a time Carl worked for Conrail, but he later found his way back to driving truck. Described as a free spirit, he always loved all the traveling that his work brought. Over the years he saw so much of the amazing countryside. Carl was most recently working for All Seasons Trucking as a truck driver.
Throughout his life Carl was a man of many interests. He was an avid outdoorsman who loved hunting, fishing, and camping. One of his favorite places to go was North Manitou Island where he did plenty of hiking and fishing as the area was such an amazing place. Over the years he and his brother, Dan, made some amazing memories there. Carl also did some backpacking, and he also loved heading out on the open road on his Harley-Davidson. He treasured the companionship of his dog, Jazzie, a Basenji that would often travel with Carl in his truck. Carl was a music lover who enjoyed all kinds of music from blues to classic Southern rock. He also enjoyed going to the Wheatland Festival. Of course since he loved hunting and fishing Carl enjoyed venison, bear meat, all kinds of wild game, and various fish, and everything always went better with a cold Labatt’s Blue Ribbon beer. Getting together with his family was a favorite, and he especially looked forward to poker nights with his brothers.
All who knew Carl Reeves would agree that he was an extraordinary man to know and love. He didn’t often show his emotions, but he did express himself through poetry. Carl could be a bit set in his ways and didn’t shy away from speaking his mind, yet he always did so in a respectful way. The lessons he learned in life he learned one day at a time. Carl will be deeply missed and forever remembered.
Carl Reeves, of Kalamazoo, died on Friday, November 18, 2016. Carl’s family includes his brothers: Randy (Tia) Babcock, Dan (Carol) Babcock and Bob (Dee) Reeves; nephews: Joshua, Shane, Randy, Robby and Hunter; a niece, Jessica; his stepfather, Robert Babcock; and several other relatives. Carl was preceded in death by his parents: RC Reeves and Adelle Babcock. Graveside services with military honors will be at 10 a.m. on Monday at Ft. Custer National Cemetery. Please visit Carl’s personal web page at www.BetzlerFuneralHome.com, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign his online guestbook. Memorial donations may be made to American Diabetes Association. Arrangements by Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive; Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900.