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Betty Jean (Smith) Reeves

December 30, 1932 ~ January 23, 2022 (age 89)


Former Brown County, Indiana resident Betty Jean Reeves (Smith) 89, died January 23, 2022, at her daughter’s home in Windsor, Colorado.

Betty was born December 30, 1932, to Stanley and Opal Smith on a rainy night with a flooding river that the Dr struggled to cross. She grew up on the family farm roaming the hills of Brown County and enjoying lots of adventures with her 5 brothers and 1 sister. It was these early experiences that instilled in her the love of all things natural. She had a soft heart for animals and told stories of wild birds and even a chicken that she cared for.

At the First Nazarene Church in Bloomington Betty met and later married Benjamin Franklin Reeves. Their wedding date was July 6, 1956. They were everything to each other for 61 years and when Ben died in 2017, Betty was lost. 

Her first job was for Indiana Bell telephone as an operator, but her love of family was her main occupation and she enjoyed caring for her husband, 3 children, cooking, cleaning, canning and gardening. In 1977 after spending her whole life in Indiana the family moved to Colorado and it was during these years that Betty found another occupation. She helped manage and did all the cleaning for vacation cabins called Shenstone Cabins near Estes Park.  She truly enjoyed these years of meeting and becoming lifelong friends with many of the cabin guests. The nightly campfires were full of stories and laughter. Betty planned and built a trail up the mountain behind the cabins and whenever she could she climbed up to the “High Point” where she listened to the wind in the pines, the birds singing and immersed her spirit in the natural beauty.

She loved the mountains and hiking was in her blood. Even up to 89 she longed to go hike a trail. She was happiest when on a trail and spent many hours with Ben and family exploring Rocky Mountain National Park with a hiking stick in hand. She loved God first and her family, birds, dogs, chocolate cake with butterscotch frosting, rivers, the smell of the pines, road trips, fireplaces, spending time with family and friends, rocks, garage sales, exploring Colorado, John Denver, Perry Como and all music. She loved to sing hymns at church, sunsets and camping, looking at the stars and making a meal for her family.

She is survived by 2 of her 3 children: Julie Dowswell (Reeves) of Windsor, Jerry Reeves of Denver and 4 grandchildren: Brandon Miller, Gillian Reeves, Gwendolyn Reeves and Gregory Reeves. Jeffrey Reeves of Indianapolis died in August of 2018.

Also survived by 2 of her 7 siblings: Leon Smith of Brown County, Indiana and Violet Taylor (Smith) of Naples, Florida.

She admired Enos Mills and this quote describes how she felt about hiking:

“The trail compels you to know yourself and to be yourself and puts you in harmony with the universe. It makes you glad to be living”


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