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Deborah Louise Manuel Reeves

Ms. Deborah Louise Manuel Reeves, 51, of Elizabethton, “Gammy” to her precious grandson, Larenzo, left us on Saturday, June 1, 2013, at Sycamore Shoals Hospital following a heroic battle with ALS, also known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”. She was the daughter of the late Margaret Louise Rutter Manuel, whom she loved dearly, and Don Edmond Manuel and his wife, Jenny, of Mountain City. In addition to her mother, she was preceded in death by her cherished mother-in-law and father-in -law, Margie and Charles Reeves. She was born in Carter County and was a Christian.

Deborah was a graduate of Milligan College where she earned a BS degree. She was a former employee of Security Federal in Elizabethton, the Johnson City Medical Center Hospital, where she was the Director of the Senior Friends Program and Sycamore Shoals Hospital, where she worked in marketing. Deborah was a successful, hardworking, dedicated and respected employee of Tetrick Funeral Home, where she worked as a pre-need counselor until her illness forced her to retire in October 2011. She served as a member of the Forethought Pre-Need Advisory Board and was the recipient of many awards and accolades from Forethought and Assurant Pre-need Companies for her service and achievements.

Deborah loved to cook, and found joy in cooking new and delicious things for her friends and family. She loved to grow her own flowers, vegetables and herbs and was famous among her many friends for her homemade pesto sauce. She loved the outdoors and was emphatic about having the birdfeeders outside her window always full. Her fight with ALS was long and difficult, but until her death she continued to be the same caring, funny, compassionate, generous, and uplifting person she had always been. She was an encouragement to her family and friends, inspiring them to band together to form Deborah’s Drifters, a team of people who walked and will continue to participate, even after her death, in the annual Walk to Defeat ALS.

In addition to her father, she is survived by her faithful and committed companion, Tyler Fleming, of the home; her loving and devoted daughter, Bridget Jeter and her husband, John; her grandson, Larenzo McNeil Jeter, all of Abingdon, VA; two brothers and sisters-in law, Edmond and Pam Manuel and their daughters, Samantha and Sydney, all of Mountain City; Michael and Vicky Manuel, and their children, Hannah and Ryan, all of Elizabethton; her daughter’s father, Eric Reeves, Elizabethton; Shonda Andrews, her concerned and affectionate care-giver and friend; her loving “band of sisters”, Tammy O’Hare, Linda Fenner, Betty Porta, Becky Cross, Mary Etta Elliott, Crystal Hensley, Maggie Cooper, Anna Deal, Jane Murray, Carmella Price, Sheila Morton, Carolyn Devault, Kathy Whitehead, and Barbara Lotshaw. She is also survived by Tyler’s children, Laura Helton, Becca Chafatelli, Maria Fleming and John Fleming, and Tyler’s mother, Nancy. Her faithful protector and bedmate, Jake the Beagle, will certainly miss her.

A gathering of friends for Deborah will be held at Tetrick Funeral Home, Chapel of Peace, Elizabethton, on Tuesday, June 4, 2013 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. Friends may also call at the home at other times.

A graveside service for Deborah will be conducted on Wednesday, June 5, 2013 at 11:00 am in the Blevins Cemetery in Shady Valley with Mr. David Ensminger officiating. Music will be under the direction of Jon Shell, Bagpiper. Active pallbearers will be Paul Dailey, Dillard Whitehead, David Blackburn, Derek Cornett, Gary Kemp, Charles Hollowell, Shane O’Hare and Randy McCoy. Honorary pallbearers will be Don Friesland, Nicole Briggs, Rita Fricker, David Hale, Ken Arnold, Terry Cole, Herb Parnack, Kathleen Caudill, Joe Taylor and Charlie Bowman. Those wishing to attend the graveside are invited to meet the family at 10:00 am Wednesday at the Tetrick Funeral Home Elizabethton to go in procession to the cemetery.

Those who prefer memorials in lieu of flowers may make donations to Deborah’s Drifters for the Walk to Defeat ALS, 214 South Sycamore Street, Elizabethton, TN 37643.

Online condolences may be sent to the family by visiting and signing the guest book or by fax 423 542-9499. Tetrick Funeral Home, Elizabethton is serving the family. Office 423 542-2232, Obituary line 543-4917.