Mr. Herman “Big Bopper” Reeves


Herman Reeves, Jr. (Big Bopper) was born September 18, 1941 to Herman Sr. and Lena Kate Reeves in Columbus, Ohio and passed away on January 28, 2022. He was educated and graduated from Central High School. His radiant and warm personality naturally drew people to him; and as a result of this, he had a vast amount of friends.

Junior, as referred to him by his parents and 5 sisters, previously was employed by Coca Cola, Jacob & Sons and a lifetime member of Local 423.

In the early years of his athletic development, many thought that Junior (affectionately called “Uncle Big Head” by his nieces/nephews) displayed equal talent at basketball and baseball as a young student at Everett Junior High School in Columbus, Oho. He earned Certificates of Meritorious Award in each of his last two years (1956 and 1957) for his contributions in varsity baseball and varsity basketball.

Success and accolades followed him to Central High School where his varsity basketball exploits for the Pirates garnered more Certificates of Meritorious Awards in 1958, 1959 and 1960. His 1960 senior year accomplishments included: 1st Team All-City, Associated Press Class AA All Ohio High School Basketballers Award, United Press International All Ohio Cagers Honorable Mention and many more awards. Nicknamed “Big Bopper”, the 6’3″ forward/center was known for his leaping ability and was known as an early day “trash talker” that backed up his rhetoric with hustle and a devasting hook-shot.

After graduation from Central, Junior played in and earned numerous awards with a number of AAU and Industrial League teams. He logged seven years playing semi-professional basketball, playing in nine gold medal tournaments of which he was selected Tournament MVP three times. In 2015, Junior was inducted into the Greater Columbus Basketball Legends Hall of Fame. In addition to this, he was also presented the My Brother’s Keeper Humanitarian Award for his commitment to helping others and providing support to fellow players and community members.

Junior was predeceased by his parents Herman Sr. and Lena Kate Reeves. He is survived by his daughter Deborah Reeves; sisters Florence Rogers-Adams, Rosa Rodgers, Pearl Washington, Helen Reeves and Diane (Thomas) Ford; significant other Paula Stewart; best friend Walter Stewart, Sr.; many nieces, nephews, cousins and a host of friends to numerous to mention.

DUE TO THE WEATHER SERVICES HAVE BEEN RESCHEDULED. Mr. Reeves will Lie in State at 10:00am, Family will receive friends at 11:00am and Home Going Service at 12:00 noon Wednesday February 9, 2022 at Trinity Baptist Church 461 St. Clair Ave. Mask and Social Distancing are required. Interment at Evergreen Burial Park.
Ministry of Comfort entrusted to MARLAN GARY FUNERAL HOME, THE CHAPEL OF PEACE EAST 5456 E. Livingston Ave. Services can be streamed at Trinity Baptist Church YouTube Channel, Trinity Baptist Church Facebook, and To read the complete obituary, order flowers and to offer condolences to The REEVES Family, visit

Condolence Messages

  1. What can I say? I’m hurt, lonely, angry and mentally upset that he is gone. I’m physically nauseous that I won’t hear him call me a “punk.” I’m upset I can’t joke with him anymore. And yet….my heart has 2 feelings. One that beats with hurt and anguish and the other that has a calm beat that his suffering is over. I loved and love my brother soooooooo much. I know he is resting in heaven with our parents.

    • Johnny Clark & Family

      Condolences to the REEVES FAMILY, extended family, and friends.

      Rest In Heaven, “Big Bopper”… say Hello to my dad (Rayvon Clark) and cousin (“Buddy” McCampbell)… both of them Everett Jr. High and Central High School alums, as well. #FLYTOWN

      Jump 25 Basketball

  2. Michael & Annette Dearing

    To my grandmother Rosa and my beautiful aunties, my family and I send our heartfelt condolences and love. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

  3. My condelences goes out to my extended reeves family in the loss of your love. One sissy reeves and family

  4. You were not just my Uncle Big Head, you were a great person, a man of people, one who laughed often and loved much . YOUR MEMORY WILL FOREVER LIVE IN ME AND IN MY HEART

  5. Im truly going to miss my uncle but will be no more sorrows and pains. Rest In Peace, Uncle Bighead

  6. Sister Shy & lil d,dimee,phyre, green eyes(thundertwins)

    Our condolences to the entire family may you all be blessed with strength and peace And continued blessings be with you all Rest in paradise awesome guardian angel brother love

  7. To Herman Reeves, Jr Family,

    Saddened to learn of Herman’s aka Big Bopper, passing. So many fond memories on the court, in the clubs and at our home playing cards. Those were good times and Herman alway kept us laughing. May he Rest In Peace and God give your family unimaginable peace, strength and comfort during this difficult time. From our hearts to yours.
    Ceola (Thornton) Garrett

  8. My condolences to the family of Herman Reeves Jr.

  9. Pearl Reeves Washington

    JUNIOR, it is so hard to say good bye; I will say until we meet again. As your family watched you take your last breath, we were left broken hearted. However, we know that God makes no mistakes. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

    Our only brother is gone. No longer can your sisters spoil you rotten, especially Helen. I know Mama and Daddy are loving on you right now. I am so thankful they taught us to always stick together.

    Junior, no more suffering and pain for you. Rest well My Dear Brother, I will see you in the morning.

  10. Antoinette (Toni) Savage

    To my Uncle Big Head. You were an important and amazing male figure in my life. Through you I learned to be my own person, to take risks even when the path was not always clear and to live life to its fullest. You were one of the “Coolest” dudes that I knew, a sharp dresser always contemplating your next move. Your laughter and your smile always made me feel welcomed, safe, and happy! You were my GIANT!

    As I watched you make your transition, I knew that the Ancestors were lovingly waiting at the door to embrace you and at that moment…my soul was at peace…because your suffering had ended. Much Love to you Uncle Big Head, tell Big Ricky that I said hello.

  11. Charles Bryson Sr

    To the family of Mr. Herman Reeves, we offer our sincere condolences for the loss of The Big Bopper! Rest in Paradise my friend. See you on the other side.

    Charles (Charlie) Bryson and Family

  12. Frances Neal Pegram

    To The Entire Reeves Family, You Have My Deepest Sympathy. Frances Neal Pegram

  13. Mary Moss Wright

    My Condolences and Prayers are with you.RIP Herman Mary Moss Wright

  14. It was a pleasure that God gave me an opportunity to meet Herman in my life. We grew up in the same neighborhood and I loved watching him play basketball at Central. He was a good man and he loved his family. Rest in Peace Brother.

    James Moss
    Fayetteville Georgia

  15. Rest In Paradise “Big Bop”. Loved them big card games with Monster, Gunn with two “N” s and Happy. You will truly be missed!

  16. To Pearl and your sisters: I am so sorry to learn of the passing of Herman. We go back to his Central High basketball days, played AAU ball, and worked at Coca-Cola together. May God comfort you and your family. Rest in peace, Herman.

    John Gatewood

  17. Jerry Sr. & Teresa Carter

    Grace, Peace and mercy from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of my dear friend the “Big Bopper”. The Big Bopper and I had a friendship that lasted for decades. We played basketball together, he was “Best Man” in my wedding. Bopper was quickly embraced by the entire Carter family. To the Reeves family may you be comforted by the God of all comfort. May the peace of God that surpasses all understanding guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.

  18. You always had a smile and warm welcome for us. Always made us feel like family, Deepest condolences.

    The Heard Family,
    Cleveland Ohio

  19. To My Flytown Brother,
    Rest in peace.
    Otis Glover,
    Class of ’59

  20. To the family of Herman Big Bopper Reeves I remember when I was pregnant with third child on the 17th of Sept 1984 Herman just happen to be passing down 6th street and stopped and I told him I was in labor he took me to OSU Med ctr( had my son that evening) He we was such a gentle giant always respectful and a gentleman. I know you got your wings . BIG Bopper. RIH Hazel.Mcginnis

  21. To the Reeves family my deepest condolences and sympathy to you all, me and Bopper played ball together at Central High School in 1958. We had some great times in and out of school. I left the state and didn’t know of all of Boppers achievements, which were all well deserved.. I agree he was big trash talker that he got from Lloyd (Bevo) Grinston and they both usually backed it up.Rest In Peace Herman

  22. My condolences and prayers to the Reeves family. Big Booper you will truly be missed. I’ll miss when we see each other we both call each other nappy head, back when Jeri curls were out and you got your hair done. We laugh and you started that nappy head. R.I.H BIG BOOPER.


    May God Wrap His Arms Around The Family During This Time Of Grieving. Our Prayers Are With You. From The Sheppard Family Of Fly Town Darlene and Joyce.

  24. Charles R. Dennis

    To The Reevse Family on behalf of the Dennis Family we send
    Our Deepest Condolence to You Our Heart and Prays go out to You.
    I have fond memories of Herman “The Big Bopper” Reeves he was always bigger than life. I was able to see play basketball when he played for Coca Cola &Old timers basketball league. Herman was something to see. I just want you know that we all family and we will keep you in pray.

  25. Willam and Linda Benberry

    To my uncle big head the one that gave me away at my marriage to my husband rest in peace Uncle popper you will surely be missed

  26. Elder JoAnn Harris & Harvey Harris Jr

    Elder JoAnn and Harvey Harris….Atlanta, Ga.

    To Pearl and the Reeves Family
    Earth has no sorrow Heaven can not heal, we love all of y’all and we are praying mightily
    Remember death takes the body…..GOD takes the soul
    Our mind holds the memories…..Our hearts keep the love
    Our faith let’s us know we will meet again…. Rest well Big Booper

  27. My condolences to the Reeves family. I loved Herman like the brother I never had. We grew up together on the basketball courts of Columbus and just knowing that he is no longer with us cuts deep. You will be greatly missed.
    Rest in Peace “Big Bopper”.

  28. My deepest condolences. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time. Please accept my sincere condolences on the loss of your loved one.

    Lee Cornute and Family

  29. Caring spirit, can make friends in a room full of strangers, always willing to help and constantly called me “Fat Head”. LOL
    So many laughs and good times. He was just one “Cool” man.
    He told me “If a man don’t have a pair of Stacy Adam shoes, don’t trust him”! LOL
    Im so sorry he passed away.
    LORD get ready, here comes Big Head, Big Bopper, hope you enjoy him as much as we did down here.
    My sincere condolences to his family & the woman he loved so much Paula “Bones” Stewart.

Leave Your Condolence