Ann Sprouse Reel, age 88, of Nebo, NC passed away Saturday, March 3, 2018 at Rose Hill Retirement Home.
Born in Rutherford County, she graduated from Glenwood High School in 1945 and went on to complete a one-year business course at Mitchell College in Statesville, NC. In 1946 she commenced her career as a legal secretary in her hometown of Marion, two weeks after her seventeenth birthday. This led to a career as a court reporter for the Superior Courts of North Carolina using her Gregg shorthand skills. From 1958 to 1965 she was employed as an executive secretary with the Allen law firm in Richmond, VA. In 1985 she completed her career and retired from the law firm of Lewis & Roberts in Arlington, VA, where she was administrative assistant.
On August 7, 1953, Ann and her soon-to-be husband, Hoyt Lee Reel, also of Marion, became local celebrities when they were married in New York City on the then-famous Bride and Groom TV show. As television was the “new technology” of the day, practically every furniture store in Marion placed a TV set in its window facing the street for the noontime audience that gathered to watch the local couple tell their seven-year courtship story and exchange their wedding vows on national television.
Having grown up on a farm in McDowell County at a time when the rural electrification program was making it possible for the electrification of rural America, after leaving home and gaining employment, Ann became the “trail blazer” for her family by helping her parents with the updating of the family home of electricity and indoor plumbing, and acting as advisor to her six siblings as they made decisions about their careers and individual life pursuits. Ann loved gardening, reading and caring for others.
In addition to her husband Hoyt of 61 years, she is also preceded in death by her parents John Henry and Lela Lawing Sprouse, and a brother, Earl Brice Sprouse.
Left behind to cherish her memory are five siblings, Larry Sprouse (Barbara), Wayne Sprouse (Virginia), Zula Stafford, Mavis Sprouse, Nora Worthen (Richard), sister-in-law Iva Sprouse, and a number of nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at Macedonia Baptist Church, 1372 Macedonia Church Loop, Nebo, NC, on Saturday, March 31, 2018, where Ann was a life-long member. The family will receive friends for one hour beginning at 10:00 a.m., with a memorial service beginning at 11:00 a.m., the Rev. Steven Painter officiating. Interment of the remains will follow the service in the church cemetery.
In addition to flowers, memorials may be made to: Hospice of the Carolina Foothills, 374 Hudlow Road, Forest City, NC 28043 and Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, 322 Eighth Avenue, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10001.