Former Georgia Bishop George Paul Reeves dies at 91

April 18, 2010

The Rt. Rev. George Paul Reeves, the seventh bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia, died on April 15 in Asheville, North Carolina, after suffering from a prolonged illness. He was 91.

Reeves was born Oct. 14, 1918 in Roanoke, Virginia. He was a 1940 Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Randolph-Macon College and received a Bachelor in Divinity from Yale Divinity School in 1943. He was ordained as a deacon in the Episcopal Church on May 6, 1948, and to the priesthood on Nov. 1 that same year.

Upon hearing of Reeves' death, incumbent Georgia Bishop Scott Benhase, said, "I ask that all of us keep Bishop Reeves' family in our prayers. His faithful service to our diocese will always be remembered. May he inherit life eternal with all the saints."

Reeves served as a Navy chaplain during World War II and then became the rector of All Saints Episcopal Church in Winter Park, Florida. He also served as the rector of Church of the Redeemer in Sarasota, Florida, from 1959 to 1965. He was then the rector of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Miami when he was elected bishop coadjutor of Georgia in 1969 to succeed the Rt. Rev. Albert Rhett Stuart.

Reeves was consecrated at Christ Church, Savannah, as the Diocese of Georgia's seventh bishop on Sept. 30, 1969, and served as diocesan bishop from 1972 through 1985. He was succeeded by the Rt. Rev. Harry W. Shipps who noted in the April 17 edition of the Savannah Morning News, "I greatly valued his wisdom and recall his strong commitment to the historic traditions of the church." A Requiem Eucharist will be held on Wednesday, April 21 at 12 noon at St. John's Episcopal Church, Savannah.

In his final hours, Reeves was cared for by his family and by Bishop William H. Folwell who anointed him.

Reeves' wife of 59 years, Adele Beer Reeves, preceded him in death. He is survived by a son, George Floyd Reeves II, and daughter, Cynthia Reeves Pond, four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

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