Mahalia Mildred Burgess Reeves Yancey
Mildred, affectionately known as “Milli,” transitioned on Tuesday, September 19th, 2023, in Forest Hill, Maryland from complications with dementia. Mildred was born July 3rd, 1935, in Inez, Fork Township in Warren County, North Carolina to Floyd “Butney” Burgess and Lucy Alston as the youngest of three siblings. Her mother Lucy passed away when Mildred was a baby, and she was raised by her great Aunt Tempie Alston in Warrenton, North Carolina. As a child, Milli attended Fork Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Inez and graduated from John R. Hawkins High School.
After high school she relocated to be with her father and stepmother in Red Bank, New Jersey, where she met and married James “Pete” Reeves and raised their six children. She began working at Lanvin-Charles of the Ritz in Middletown, New Jersey as a Quality Control Supervisor where she would eventually retire. Milli lived in Red Bank NJ for over 25 years.
Mildred later remarried Floyd Yancey and lived in Morristown, New Jersey. There she joined Union Baptist Church. Unfortunately, her husband Floyd passed away suddenly in 1990, and she relocated to Oxford, North Carolina where she and Floyd had started building their retirement home.
She supervised the completion of the house and lived there until she moved to Maryland, and to live with her daughter, Debbie. There, she joined Clarks United Methodist Church and became an
active and devoted member, serving as a Communion Stewart, Secretary of the New
Membership Committee and was a member of the Women of Faith and the United Methodist Women up until her illness.
Mildred loved her family deeply. Her home— wherever she was, would become the place where many of her grandchildren, great grandchildren, and Godchildren would spend countless memorable summers. She was also well known and loved by her community, where she sometimes acted as caregiver for many of the neighborhood children. She would often join in with some of the parents and kids on adventurous hikes through the woods to the pond behind her home and helped with neighborhood clean-up initiatives. In her retirement, she worked for over 5 years with the YMCA in Abingdon and in Bel Air, MD at Prospect Mill Elementary School as an afterschool program educator. She had a true nurturing spirit and dedicated her life to serving as a mother in her community.
Mildred was excellent at sewing, knitting, crocheting, and quilting. She often sewed her own clothing, taught people how to sew, and made various outfits and costumes for her loved ones. She loved quilting and spent much of her later years designing and executing detailed quilts for her family. In addition, she was an amazing baker, and enjoyed making cookies, her famous magic bars, and cakes for her loved ones and church family. Mildred was especially well known for her pound cake.
Mildred’s infectious smile and three-part bellowing laugh will be remembered and cherished by all who knew her. She will be greatly missed beyond measure. She is predeceased by her parents, her late husband, Floyd Yancey, her stepmother Vivian Burgess, and brothers, Plummer, James, and Daniel Burgess.
Mildred is survived by one brother, Scott Burgess of Richmond VA, her children James (Jimi) Reeves, of Kissimmee, FL, Estelle Dickerson, of Midlothian VA, Yvonne Reeves, of Red Bank, NJ, Pete Reeves, of Red Bank, NJ, Deborah Reeves-Elmore (Kevin) of Bel Air MD, and Irving Reeves (Ayanna), of Gaithersburg, MD, thirteen grandchildren, many great-grandchildren, great-great grandchildren, in-laws, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that you donate to the Alzheimer’s Association or a charity of your choice.