Miss Biscuit (missbiscuit) wrote in tell_herstory,
Miss Biscuit

Riding Into the Sunset

[ I heard this on the radio yesterday and thought I should post it here. What an amazing woman!
This article comes from the Houston Chronicle.]

>Aug. 19, 2003, 10:34PM

Reeves, cowgirl, riding teacher, 101
Copyright 2003 Houston Chronicle
Connie Douglas Reeves, who taught three generations of girls how to ride horses at Camp Waldemar in the Texas Hill Country and was an honoree of the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame, died Sunday from the effects of a fall from her horse. She was 101.

On Aug. 5, Reeves' horse, Dr Pepper, threw her, and she went head-first onto a golf fairway at the camp near Hunt in Kerr County. Taken by Life Flight helicopter to a San Antonio hospital, Reeves appeared to be responding to treatment, but on Sunday, her condition worsened and she died.

"Texas has lost one of its great treasures," said Teak Elmore, one of the owners of the camp. "Waldemar has lost a friend, an unbelievable inspiration and a part of our family. She was like a mother and grandmother to many of us, a teacher to thousands, and a friend that always has been there."

In her 67 years at Waldemar, Reeves taught more than 20,000 girls how to ride. She told them her motto: "Always saddle your own horse." She explained: "You want to know that your horse is saddled properly. It establishes a good relation with the horse."

Her own paint horse, Dr Pepper, is 28 years old. The horse had kicked and thrown her several times, a camp spokesman said, and once she suffered fractures. Her affection for Dr Pepper, however, never wavered. "She liked a lively horse," the spokesman said.

In 1997, Reeves was inducted as an honoree of the Cowgirl Hall of Fame, which honors women "who have distinguished themselves while exemplifying the pioneer spirit of the American West."

Born in Eagle Pass on Sept. 26, 1901, Constance Douglas Reeves was the daughter of a judge, William Constant Douglas, and his wife, Ada Douglas.

Reeves did undergraduate work and studied law at the University of Texas at Austin, but the Great Depression ended that. She graduated from what is now Texas Woman's University in Denton.

In 1936, she took a job as counselor for horseback riding at Waldemar, where she met her future husband, Jack Reeves, a rodeo star and keeper of the camp's horses. Married six years later, the couple lived on a ranch near Junction. Jack Reeves died in 1985. In recent years, Connie Reeves lived in Kerrville.

In 1995, she wrote an autobiography, I Married a Cowboy, published by Eakin Press.

She is survived by sisters-in-law, Annie Mae Witt, Etola McPherson, Ruth Lott and Dorothy Brothers, all of Kerrville; six nieces, Marilynn Baldwin of Chicago, Betty Felderman of Alexandria, Va., Patty Barton of Pecan Plantation, Gloria Goodman of Kerrville, Kathy Fulgim of Abilene, and Glenda Smith of Austin; six nephews, Gerald Witt of Camp Verde, Joe Dell Witt of Center Point, Dennis McPherson of Wharton, Harry McPherson of Rockport, Gary Brothers of Michigan and Darwin Fisher of Uvalde.

The funeral will be at 10 a.m. today at Grimes Funeral Home in Kerrville. A memorial service will be at 6:30 p.m. Friday in the Camp Waldemar Stables near Hunt. A second memorial will be on Reeves' birthday, Sept. 26, during Camp Waldemar Women's Week.
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