Robert L. Reeves, MD

Class Year




Posted on: November 5, 2021

Dr. Robert Legare Reeves was born in a New York City hospital in 1921, the son of Mathew Sully Reeves and Edna (Simonson) Reeves. He and his older 3 siblings, Mary Elizabeth, Dougal Bissell and Richard Stone (the renowned race horse artist), grew up in Garden City, New York. His mother, Edna Simonson, was descended from Dutch settlers on Long Island, New York and had family living there mainly around Great Neck.

Robert’s father, Mathew Sully Reeves, was originally from Charleston, South Carolina. He was a descendent of Solomon Legare, one of the founders of Charleston in the 1600’s.

Robert attended Garden City High School (Long Island), graduating as class president. He subsequently attended Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia from which he graduated in 1943. He was part of the last VMI class to take cavalry training and acquired a lifelong love of horses. At VMI he was a member of the Hunt Club (equine fox hunting) and was a member of the school wrestling team. Robert was recognized as the cadet with the highest grade-point-average in his class. He was further honored at VMI by receiving the Society Of The Cincinnati Medal as the cadet “most distinguished by efficiency of services and excellence of character throughout his cadetship.” He attended the University of Virginia medical school and was the president of his class.

Robert married Mary Frances Wilson of Charlottesville, Virginia in 1944. In 1945, he graduated from medical school at University of Virginia and took his internship at St. Luke’s Hospital in New York City. He served as a captain in the U.S. Army Air Corps from 1947 to 1949 at Scott Air Force Base in Bellevue, Illinois.

From 1949 to 1951 he was a resident physician in internal medicine at St. Luke’s in New York City. In 1951 to 1952 he took a fellowship in lipid metabolism in the internal medicine department at the University of Virginia. Thereafter he joined the Virginia Mason Clinic in Seattle in 1952 and practiced internal medicine with a sub-specialty in Endocrinology.

In 1968 he opened a private practice in Olympia, Washington and subsequently performed hypertension research at Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Tacoma, Washington.

Throughout his life, Robert was an avid lover of nature who enjoyed hiking and spending time outdoors. He was a devoted dog lover whose household included many beloved canines over the years.

Robert passed away peacefully at Warm Beach Senior Community nursing facility in Stanwood, Washington on September 13, 2021 (only 9 days before he would have turned 100), where he loved the staff and received amazing, thoughtful care. He is survived by a son Robert Legare Reeves Jr. of Bellingham, Washington; three daughters: Catherine Reeves Rule of Missoula, Montana, Ana Reeves (Charvelle) of Kauai, Hawaii, and Elizabeth Reeves Hansen of Arlington, Washington; and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He will be greatly missed.