Cover photo for Reba Holcomb's Obituary
Reba Holcomb Profile Photo
1914 Reba 2015

Reba Holcomb

January 12, 1914 — September 30, 2015

Reba Dean Childers Holcomb was born at home in Aylesworth, Oklahoma, January 12, 1914. The farm is now in the middle of Lake Texhoma. She was the ninth child of John H. Childers and his wife, Sannie Norris Childers. She joined siblings: Veva, Beatrice, Orion, Theto, Marden, Lena, Estie, and Elva. The family moved to Slide, Texas when she was two years old and then down to the cap to a farm between Gasoline and Flomot, Texas. This farm was lovingly referred to as "The Home Place". Sannie Childers died when Reba was four years old. Johnny then married his widowed sister-in-law, Ellie Macomber Childers. Joining her five children: Fern, Voleta, Paschal, Dee, and Neil with their cousins to form a close knit family. Reba always said, "in our family, there are no steps, no halves; just family". Johnny and Ellie had four more children: Ruby, Arndale, Eugene, and Colleen. Reba attended school at Flomot and Gasoline, She participated in sports, running track, and basketball. The children rode to school in a buggy and often rode horseback to school. The family helped on the farm. Reba picked cotton, drove the go-devil, shocked feed, milked the cows, and helped with all farm chores. Reba met Joe Holcomb from Turkey, Texas when he was working on road construction for Barnhill Construction Company. Joe and Reba were married August 30, 1930 in Memphis, Texas. They lived in Turkey and followed the road construction jobs over the Texas Panhandle area. Their first child, Jeynean, was born at Gasoline, Texas in 1933. The family of three moved to the Fort Sumner valley in February 1935. Joe and Reba both worked in the apple orchards, vineyards, and sweet potato fields as well as raising big gardens and preserving their produce for the winters use. This was in the depth of the depression. They worked for Dave Smith, Everette Maupin, Paul Haas, Henry Fuller, and other valley farmers. They were greatly befriended by John Allen. Reba, her sisters, step-mother, and sister-in-laws helped organize the Birthday Club which evolved into the Valley Quilting Club in 1936. Her pretty quilts are treasurers to her family. Their second daughter LaJuana Jo, was born and died in 1939. Their first son, Jimmy, was born in January 1942 right after the start of World War II. The family then moved to Amarillo, Texas where Joe worked at the Amarillo Airbase and the Pan-Tex Plant. They returned to Fort Sumner in 1943. Their youngest son, Johnny, joined the family in 1946. Reba and a group of friends took several Red Cross classes, served on bond drives, sewing clubs, and other programs to support the war effort. There first aid courses started her on her nursing career. She started working for Dr. Edward Fikany in 1948. He trained her to be a surgical assistant for him. She attended ENMU and obtained her nursing degree. Reba worked as a nurse for 32 years. Dr. Fikany once estimated that she helped in the delivery of at least 3/4 of the population of Eastern New Mexico. She helped deliver her grandchildren and three of her great grandchildren. She helped in the care of Joe when he was beaten during a robbery in 1978. Reba loved her role as "the night nurse" at De Baca General Hospital and continued to work the night shift until her retirement. She was also the caregiver for several of her longtime friends. After retiring in 1983, she took several bus tours and enjoyed spending time with her siblings. She did beautiful crocheting and knitting. Her children and grandchildren were the recipients of her talent. Her pride and joy was her flower garden. She was an active member of First Baptist Church of Fort Sumner, teaching Sunday School classes for many years. She shared her love of Jesus with her children and grandchildren and was instrumental in their salvation experiences. Joe passed away in 1993 after nearly 63 years of marriage. Reba moved to Autumn Blessings Assisted Living in Logan, New Mexico in 2004 at the age of 90. She spent her days "caring" for other residents and giving a shift report as long as she was able. She passed away September 30, 2015 at the age of 101 years 8 1/2 months. She went to her heavenly home, holding the hands of family members and listening to them sing her favorite hymns. She will be buried in the family plot beside her husband, Joe, and their infant daughter, LaJuana Jo. Reba was preceded in death by her spouse, her daughter, her parents and all of her siblings. She is survived by three children: Jeynean and husband J.C. Bailey of Fort Sumner; Jimmy Holcomb of Irving, Texas, and Johnny Holcomb and wife, Ronda, of Farmington, NM. Also surviving are 17 grandchildren, 38 great-grandchildren, 27 great-great-grandchildren with four more on the way. Also one special nephew, Marvin Holcomb, a sister-in-law, Louise Childers, and numerous nieces, nephews, and lots of friends. Visitation hours will be Friday from 1pm-6pm at the Chavez Funeral Home. Services for Reba will be held at 2pm Saturday, October 3, 2015 at the First Baptist Church in Fort Sumner with Keith Bailey, Joe Bailey, Rev. Steve Kulback, and Anna Grace Teeter Gentile officiating. Burial will follow in the family plot, Fort Sumner Cemetery. Pallbearers will be her grandsons Troy Bailey, Coy Bailey, Joe Bailey, Jack Bailey, Keith Bailey, Kelvin Bailey, Joel Holcomb, Johnathan Holcomb, and James Holcomb. All arrangements are under the direction of Chavez Funeral Home, 830 N. Fifth Street, Fort Sumner. (575) 355-2311. To place an online tribute or sign the guest book go to www.chavezfuneralhome.com
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