Colleen Reeves

Obituary of Colleen M. Reeves

Colleen M. Reeves, (nee Murphy), age 89, died peacefully at her home in Joliet, on September 2, 2023.Born in Manhattan, IL to Thomas and Evelyn (nee Curran) Murphy, Colleen was a lifelong Joliet area resident.  Additionally, Colleen and her husband spent many warm and happy winters in Bonita Springs, Florida.

Colleen graduated college in just three years, obtaining her degree and Teaching Certificate in Elementary Education in order to teach Kindergarten. She was a scholarship recipient at Illinois State University, in Normal, IL, Class of 1954. Previously, she attended St Francis Academy, Joliet, Class of 1951.  Colleen proudly served as a member of the Joliet Junior Women's Club, St. Joseph's Hospital Auxiliary League with over 2000 volunteer hours as a Candy Striper, and two-time past president and 40-year member of The Visitation and Aid Society of Joliet. A daily mass attendee for many years, Colleen remained a parishioner at the Cathedral of Saint Raymond Nonnatus, and at Saint Leo's in Bonita Springs, Florida.

Colleen is preceded in death by her beloved husband of 62 years, Howard “Howie” E. Reeves; her parents, Thomas and Evelyn Murphy; her beloved daughter, Allison Ann Reeves; and her two brothers, Dr. John Daniel Murphy and Thomas Edward “Pete” Murphy.

Survived by one son, Kirk Reeves, and one daughter, Stephanie Reeves; six grandchildren, Blair Morgan, Lauren Danielle, and Lucas Freesen Reeves, and Rourke William, Colleen Margaret and John Patrick “Jack” McCollom; two sisters-in-law, Loretta Murphy of Frankfort, Illinois, and Connie Murphy, of Peoria, Illinois; one son-in-law, John Patrick McCollom; one daughter-in-law, Beverly Reeves; and many nieces and nephews and their families.

Colleen was known as a true lady, full of poise, refinement, and class.  As a woman of great faith, Colleen lived a traditional life and selflessly gave to her community, family, friends, and the Catholic Church and to those in need.  Yet she held her own interests as a strong, passionate, and modern woman. She loved playing and watching women's tennis, following college football (especially her beloved Notre Dame Fighting Irishmen), golfing, reading, and walking.  Colleen loved to talk, sing, bake, sew, needlepoint, stitch, knit, crochet, quilt, attend the theater, and follow the latest fashions.  She sewed her own wedding gown, which was later refashioned by her into an heirloom christening gown, as well as her own mother-of-the-groom sheath dress and matching jacket.  She quilted bedspreads, crocheted blankets, knitted Christmas stockings, and made every holiday a cause for celebration complete with home decor that she crafted, gorgeous table settings, celebratory foods, and other traditions.  

Colleen sought adventure through travel; she took her school-aged children all over the country on summer vacations, alone, due to her husband’s seasonal business.  She thought nothing of getting a manual transmission rental car and driving on “the wrong side” of the road through Ireland with her teenage daughter. She and her husband traveled to Fiji, New Zealand, Spain, Hawaii, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and many destinations worldwide.

A wonderful mother, wife, and homemaker, Colleen loved making things beautiful. Colleen created beauty in a well-appointed home, her own lovely appearance, in a beautiful Christmas tree brimming with wrapped gifts, by breaking out in a well-timed song played on the piano or sung, all of which made her a pleasure to be around.  Her hospitality extended to many people. Fresh baked cookies, a folded cloth napkin, a cup of coffee, a cocktail, or beer, and a homemade meal were always ready for the welcomed guest.  She partnered with Howie to throw many legendary parties.  She maintained up to three homes at a time while supporting her husband's business ventures and dreams.  Colleen brought a positive outlook, a pragmatic style, and a surprisingly devilish sense of humor to all her endeavors. She was always there for her friends, family, and community, in her kind, gracious, and unobtrusive way, with her Irish eyes smiling.

Visitation for Colleen Reeves will be held Thursday, September 14, 2023, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m., at the Fred C. Dames Funeral Home, 3200 Black Road, Joliet.  Funeral services will be held Friday, September 15, 2023, at 10:45 a.m., from the funeral home to the Cathedral of St. Raymond Nonnatus where a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:30 a.m.  Interment will be in Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials in her name to the American Cancer Society or The Visitation and Aid Society of Joliet, Visitation and Aid Society, P.O. Box 2715, Joliet, would be appreciated.

For more information, please call (815) 741-5500 or visit her Memorial Tribute at



4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Thursday, September 14, 2023
Fred C. Dames Funeral Homes - Joliet
3200 Black at Essington Roads
Joliet, Illinois, United States
(815) 741-5500

A Mass of Christian Burial

11:30 am
Friday, September 15, 2023
Cathedral of St. Raymond Nonnatus
604 N. Raynor Avenue
Joliet, Illinois, United States


Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery
20953 W. Hoff Road
Elwood, Illinois, United States

Memorial Contributions

In lieu of flowers, memorials in her name to the American Cancer Society or The Visitation and Aid Society of Joliet, Visitation and Aid Society, P.O. Box 2715, Joliet, would be appreciated.